mourn·​ing | \ˈmȯr-niŋ \

Definition of mourning 

1 : the act of sorrowing She is still in mourning for her dead husband.

2a : an outward sign (such as black clothes or an armband) of grief for a person's death lots of people there, and only one man in full mourning— Arnold Bennett

b : a period of time during which signs of grief are shown after a long mourning, resume their ordinary dresses— Henry Reed

Examples of mourning in a Sentence

a day of national mourning She is still in mourning for her dead husband. The whole town was in mourning. a period of deep mourning His widow was dressed in mourning.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Other people feel adamant that having their pets returned is an integral part of the mourning process. Ace Ratcliff, SELF, "Pet Euthanasia at Home: 6 Ways to Make Putting Down Your Pet Easier on Them—and You," 25 Oct. 2018 During the same period, the toxic dyes used to color black mourning gowns and veils presented unlucky widows with a variety of health risks, among them respiratory issues, blindness, and death. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "Why cadmium, a metal that can cause kidney and bone damage, is still used in jewelry," 12 Oct. 2018 From chatty Facebook groups to mesmerizing Instagram pages to deeply emotional message boards detailing mourning rituals, myriad online resources exist for women grieving a pregnancy loss. Natalie Lampert, Marie Claire, "Why Women Reeling From Miscarriage Are Turning to the Web," 1 Oct. 2018 National mourning is rapidly transforming into outrage as police clash with protestors in the area surrounding the museum’s gutted remains, CNN reports. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, "Brazil Mourns Loss of Rio de Janeiro's National Museum After Devastating Fire," 4 Sep. 2018 The mourning in Annapolis continued Tuesday, marked by a lowering of U.S. flags to honor the victims. David Mcfadden, Fox News, "Suspect wrote he aimed to kill everyone at Maryland newsroom," 4 July 2018 The mourning in Annapolis continued Tuesday, marked by a lowering of US flags to honor the victims. David Mcfadden,, "Suspect wrote he aimed to kill everyone at Maryland newsroom," 3 July 2018 Wednesday was a day of national mourning and elsewhere in Russia - candles were lit and flowers laid at rallies in several cities, including St Petersburg and Moscow. St. John Barned-smith, Houston Chronicle, "Harris County public safety agencies to receive boats to handle future flooding," 6 June 2018 This is not triumphalism but quite the opposite—a refusal to stay sunk in fear and trouble, mourning and misery, servitude and dependency. Ruth R. Wisse, WSJ, "To Appreciate Freedom, Remember Slavery," 29 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mourning.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of mourning

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for mourning

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for mourning

The first known use of mourning was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for mourning



English Language Learners Definition of mourning

: the act of mourning for someone who has died

: great sadness felt because someone has died

: black clothing that is worn to show that you are mourning for someone who has died


mourn·​ing | \ˈmȯr-niŋ \

Kids Definition of mourning

1 : the act of feeling or expressing sorrow

2 : an outward sign (as black clothes or an arm band) of grief for a person's death

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Comments on mourning

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