trist·​ful | \ ˈtrist-fəl How to pronounce tristful (audio) \

Definition of tristful

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Other Words from tristful

tristfully \ ˈtrist-​fə-​lē How to pronounce tristful (audio) \ adverb
tristfulness noun

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The Middle English word trist, from which "tristful" is derived, means "sad." Today, we spell this word triste (echoing the spelling of a French ancestor), whereas "tristful" has continued to be spelled without the "e." Is there a connection between "triste" ("sad") and "tryst" ("a secret rendezvous of lovers")? Not exactly. "Tryst" can be traced back to a Middle English "trist," but it is a different word, one that was a synonym of "trust." This word eventually fell into disuse, but before doing so, it may have given rise to a word for a station used by hunters, which is in turn believed to have led to "tryst."

First Known Use of tristful

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tristful

Middle English trist sad, from Anglo-French triste

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The first known use of tristful was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Tristful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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