sor·​row·​ful | \ ˈsär-(ˌ)ō-fəl How to pronounce sorrowful (audio) , -ə-fəl, ˈsȯr- \

Definition of sorrowful

1 : full of or marked by sorrow a sorrowful goodbye
2 : expressive of or inducing sorrow sorrowful eyes

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Other Words from sorrowful

sorrowfully \ ˈsär-​(ˌ)ō-​f(ə-​)lē How to pronounce sorrowfully (audio) , -​ə-​f(ə-​)lē , ˈsȯr-​ \ adverb
sorrowfulness \ ˈsär-​(ˌ)ō-​fəl-​nəs How to pronounce sorrowfulness (audio) , -​ə-​fəl-​ , ˈsȯr-​ \ noun

Examples of sorrowful in a Sentence

adopted a sorrowful tone of voice to read the news story about the former governor's death the cult seemed to be a sorrowful assemblage of emotionally scarred people seeking love and redemption
Recent Examples on the Web Spartans basketball coach Tom Izzo, a longtime friend and colleague, made his almost-sorrowful feelings known on social media. Elaine Sung, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State coach Tom Izzo remarks on 'sad day' as Mark Dantonio retires," 4 Feb. 2020 Theo’s sorrowful humanity is founded on this loss, as is his bond with the sweet Pippa, an equally traumatized and fragile orphan. Ayşegül Savaş, Longreads, "In Defense of Boris the Russki," 22 Jan. 2020 But police brutality against black people has been a sorrowful tradition in this country. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "What Is Even Going on Out There?," 10 Jan. 2020 That’s true of nearly all war pictures, though those set in World War I—including this one—come with a particular, sorrowful sting. Time, "1917 Is a Movie About the Horrors of War, Told With a Devotion to Beauty and Life," 24 Dec. 2019 Five times over his 22-year career as the head coach of Mariemont girls soccer, Haney had to deliver a sorrowful end-of-the-year speech to his team after falling one round shy of the regional championship. Shelby Dermer,, "Mariemont girls soccer knocks off Madeira, advances to 1st-ever regional final," 30 Oct. 2019 These were celebrations of every event both joyful and sorrowful in the family & the love & joy there was profound., "Deaths in South Florida: 12/11," 11 Dec. 2019 Alicia Crosby, a minister, educator and activist, says that several key gospel elements—including musical underpinnings and sorrowful narratives—are wholly missing from the work. Andrew R. Chow, Time, "How Kanye West's Controversial "Jesus Is King" Is Dividing the Christian Community," 1 Nov. 2019 The ending might benefit from losing that scene altogether, closing more succinctly with the sorrowful reaffirmation of the love and pride Ellen feels for Ned, and the haunting image of execution. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'True History of the Kelly Gang': Film Review | TIFF 2019," 6 Sep. 2019

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

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

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Time Traveler for sorrowful

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sorrowful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for sorrowful


How to pronounce sorrowful (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sorrowful

formal + literary : feeling or showing sadness : full of sorrow


sor·​row·​ful | \ ˈsär-ō-fəl How to pronounce sorrowful (audio) , -ə-fəl \

Kids Definition of sorrowful

1 : full of or showing sadness a sorrowful face
2 : causing sadness a sorrowful tale

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