sorrow

noun
sor·​row | \ ˈsär-(ˌ)ō How to pronounce sorrow (audio) , ˈsȯr- \

Definition of sorrow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : deep distress, sadness, or regret especially for the loss of someone or something loved
b : resultant unhappy or unpleasant state to their great sorrow they could not marry
2 : a cause of grief or sadness
3 : a display of grief or sadness

sorrow

verb
sorrowed; sorrowing; sorrows

Definition of sorrow (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to feel or express sorrow

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Other Words from sorrow

Verb

sorrower \ ˈsär-​ə-​wər How to pronounce sorrow (audio) , ˈsȯr-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for sorrow

Noun

sorrow, grief, anguish, woe, regret mean distress of mind. sorrow implies a sense of loss or a sense of guilt and remorse. a family united in sorrow upon the patriarch's death grief implies poignant sorrow for an immediate cause. the inexpressible grief of the bereaved parents anguish suggests torturing grief or dread. the anguish felt by the parents of the kidnapped child woe is deep or inconsolable grief or misery. cries of woe echoed throughout the bombed city regret implies pain caused by deep disappointment, fruitless longing, or unavailing remorse. nagging regret for missed opportunities

Examples of sorrow in a Sentence

Noun I felt sorrow at the death of my friend. a life filled with joys and sorrows She had a secret sorrow. Verb a sorrowing mother, grieving over the death of her son the soldier's widow continued to sorrow long after her husband's last letter had turned yellow with age
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In her sorrow, Lamia plucks out her own eyes and wanders in search of others’ children; in some retellings, Zeus gives her the ability to take out her own eyes and put them back at will. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why So Many Mythological Monsters Are Female," 31 Mar. 2021 In an emotional moment on the second day of testimony, Darnella Frazier could barely articulate her sorrow about watching Floyd as Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in his death, knelt on his neck. NBC News, "Tearful witness regrets not doing more to possibly save George Floyd's life," 30 Mar. 2021 Kenneth said he has been comforted in his sorrow by a multitude of family members, many of whom work at the family business, but especially by his sisters, Kathryn Wilson and Renee. Byron Tate, Arkansas Online, "Loving family had to let go," 28 Mar. 2021 Her daughters don’t want to add to her sorrow by reading or showing the letter to her, but speaking up about it is another way to honor their father, Choi said. Washington Post, "After their father’s death came a handwritten note: ‘One less Asian to put up with’," 25 Mar. 2021 In a coastal garden in northeast Japan sits the Wind Phone, which offers visitors a place of grace for their sorrow. Monitor Reviewers, The Christian Science Monitor, "The winds of change blow through the 10 best books of March," 9 Mar. 2021 May his wife, Billye, his family and friends find peace in their sorrow, knowing how deeply he was loved. Nancy Clanton, ajc, "Dignitaries, celebrities and more react to ‘considerable loss’ of Hank Aaron," 22 Jan. 2021 Her poetry can be stark in its sorrow and startling in its horror, but it is enlivened with gallows humor and a surreal sensibility. The New Yorker, "Briefly Noted," 30 Nov. 2020 Who knows, after all, if the other party (or someone in their family) might be sick, or has lost their job, or has even just reached a new low of sorrow and terror. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Why It Feels So Good to Chat About Vaccines," 29 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Combining formal audacity with emotional intimacy and sharp social observation, the picture attains a fullness of humorous, sorrowing life. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, "Artist Noah Davis died tragically at age 32. A New York show reveals a great lost talent.," 30 Jan. 2020 Playful and poignant in equal measure, Wheaton’s compositions are profoundly moving, evoking both loss and resilience — the sorrowing look back, and the hopeful look forward. Rand Richards Cooper, courant.com, "In Our Midst: Gabriel Wheaton’s classical, contemporary, opulent and wildly eclectic one-man band," 15 Nov. 2019 Chili’s Wash away all your tax day sorrows with a $5 Cuervo Blue Margarita, made with silver tequila, blue Curacao and pineapple juice. Madison Roberts, PEOPLE.com, "All the Restaurants Where You Can Get Free Food on Tax Day," 9 Apr. 2018 In some places, lynchings were accompanied by mob destruction of black business districts, adding economic devastation to sorrow. Vanessa Gregory, New York Times, "A Lynching’s Long Shadow," 25 Apr. 2018 Ashton Kutcher isn’t the type to drown his breakup sorrows with a carton of ice cream and a box of tissues. Mike Miller, PEOPLE.com, "Ashton Kutcher Fasted for a Week in the Woods After Demi Moore Divorce: 'I Started to Hallucinate'," 20 Feb. 2018 A skull, a crucifix and the suggestion of a sorrowing Rubenesque nude press in on a naked man (possibly the artist) who may be leaving them behind. Roberta Smith, New York Times, "Painting From the 1980s, When Brash Met Flash," 9 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sorrow.' 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 sorrow

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sorrow

Noun

Middle English sorow, from Old English sorg; akin to Old High German sorga sorrow

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Time Traveler for sorrow

Time Traveler

The first known use of sorrow was before the 12th century

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Statistics for sorrow

Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sorrow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sorrow. Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for sorrow

sorrow

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sorrow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a feeling of sadness or grief caused especially by the loss of someone or something
: a cause of grief or sadness

sorrow

verb

English Language Learners Definition of sorrow (Entry 2 of 2)

formal + literary : to feel or express sorrow

sorrow

noun
sor·​row | \ ˈsär-ō How to pronounce sorrow (audio) \

Kids Definition of sorrow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : sadness felt after a loss (as of someone or something loved)
2 : a cause of grief or sadness He moved away to forget his sorrows.
3 : a feeling of regret

sorrow

verb
sorrowed; sorrowing

Kids Definition of sorrow (Entry 2 of 2)

: to feel or express sorrow : grieve

Choose the Right Synonym for sorrow

Noun

sorrow, grief, and woe mean a feeling of great sadness. sorrow is used for a feeling that something has been lost and often feelings of guilt and regret. He expressed sorrow for having caused the accident. grief is used for a feeling of great sorrow usually for a particular reason. She felt grief over the death of her pet. woe is used for a feeling of hopelessness and misery. All my troubles left me in a state of woe.

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Comments on sorrow

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