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

Keep scrolling for more

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

The world has rightly united to fight the extremism that has made sorrowful brethren out of cities like New York, Paris, London, and Manchester and that has taken so many lives in Sri Lanka in recent days. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince William Gave a Moving Speech at Christchurch's Al Noor Mosque. Here's the Full Transcript.," 26 Apr. 2019 The sorrowful words aren't the only allure of the single. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Dan + Shay Explain the Real Meaning Behind 'Tequila'," 3 Apr. 2019 The passing of Karl Lagerfeld at the start of Milan Fashion Week cast a sorrowful mood over the goings on, with many mourning the loss of one of the world’s most influential creators. Vogue, "Anna Wintour Shares Her Milan and Paris Fashion Week Highlights," 14 Mar. 2019 Goldin’s photographs are haunting — King possesses a soulful, fragile beauty; she’s rail thin, with deep sorrowful eyes. New York Times, "Nan Goldin Survived an Overdose to Fight the Opioid Epidemic," 11 June 2018 The sentence, including five years to be served concurrently for custodial interference, marks another chapter in a sorrowful family tale that began hours after the birth of Kamiyah Mobley on July 10, 1998, at a Jacksonville hospital. Ray Sanchez, CNN, "Woman sentenced to 18 years for kidnapping baby from hospital, raising her as her own," 8 June 2018 Fall 2008 was a sorrowful time; Reece’s father, who had embraced Susan as another daughter, died of melanoma just before Thanksgiving. Anndee Hochman,, "The Parent Trip: Susan and Reece Whitney of Wyndmoor," 3 Apr. 2018 Many hopeful young upstarts end up cast in the game's scrapheap, but none feel more sorrowful than Götze's decline., "From World Cup Hero to Squad Exclusion: The Sad Fall of Germany's Golden Boy Mario Götze," 15 May 2018 So What?,’’ and gives Schneider a sorrowful demeanor that is especially poignant when the landlady confronts the limits of her own courage. Don Aucoin,, "Doherty shines brightest in Moonbox’s compelling ‘Cabaret’," 17 Apr. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of sorrowful

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sorrowful

Statistics for sorrowful

Last Updated

10 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sorrowful

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sorrowful



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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on sorrowful

What made you want to look up sorrowful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing great care, attention, and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!