saturnine

Synonym Chooser

How is the word saturnine different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of saturnine are crabbed, gloomy, glum, morose, sulky, sullen, and surly. While all these words mean "showing a forbidding or disagreeable mood," saturnine describes a heavy forbidding aspect or suggests a bitter disposition.

a saturnine cynic always finding fault

When is crabbed a more appropriate choice than saturnine?

The synonyms crabbed and saturnine are sometimes interchangeable, but crabbed applies to a forbidding morose harshness of manner.

the school's notoriously crabbed headmaster

In what contexts can gloomy take the place of saturnine?

The words gloomy and saturnine are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, gloomy implies a depression in mood making for seeming sullenness or glumness.

a gloomy mood ushered in by bad news

When can glum be used instead of saturnine?

While the synonyms glum and saturnine are close in meaning, glum suggests a silent dispiritedness.

a glum candidate left to ponder a stunning defeat

How do morose and glum relate to one another, in the sense of saturnine?

Morose adds to glum an element of bitterness or misanthropy.

morose job seekers who are inured to rejection

When could sulky be used to replace saturnine?

In some situations, the words sulky and saturnine are roughly equivalent. However, sulky suggests childish resentment expressed in peevish sullenness.

grew sulky after every spat

When would sullen be a good substitute for saturnine?

Although the words sullen and saturnine have much in common, sullen implies a silent ill humor and a refusal to be sociable.

remained sullen amid the festivities

Where would surly be a reasonable alternative to saturnine?

The words surly and saturnine can be used in similar contexts, but surly implies gruffness and sullenness of speech or manner.

a typical surly teenager

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Cite this Entry

“Saturnine.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/saturnine. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

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