- a saturnine smile
saturnine was our Word of the Day on 06/20/2014. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of saturnine in a Sentence
He is saturnine in temperament.
the men awaiting interrogation by the police shared a saturnine silence
Did You Know?
Eeyore is saturnine. The gloomy, cynical character of A. A. Milne's gray donkey typifies the personality type the ancient Romans ascribed to individuals born when the planet Saturn was rising in the heavens. Both the name of the planet and the adjective derive from the name of the Roman god of agriculture, who was often depicted as a bent old man with a stern, sluggish, and sullen nature. The Latin name for Saturn was Saturnus, which is assumed to have yielded the word Saturninus (meaning "of Saturn") in Medieval Latin; that form was adapted to create English saturnine in the 15th century.
First Known Use of saturnine
black, bleak, cheerless, chill, cloudy, cold, comfortless, dark, darkening, depressing, depressive, desolate, dire, disconsolate, dismal, drear, dreary, elegiac (also elegiacal), forlorn, funereal, gloomy, glum, godforsaken, gray (also grey), lonely, lonesome, lugubrious, miserable, morbid, morose, murky, sepulchral, solemn, somber (or sombre), sullen, sunless, wretched;
Synonym Discussion of saturnine
- remained sullen amid the festivities
- a glum candidate left to ponder a stunning defeat
- morose job seekers who are inured to rejection
- a typical surly teenager
- grew sulky after every spat
- the school's notoriously crabbed headmaster
- a saturnine cynic always finding fault
- a gloomy mood ushered in by bad news
SATURNINE Defined for English Language Learners
: very serious and unhappy
Biographical Note for saturnine
Seen and Heard
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