Did You Know?
The Middle English word trist, from which tristful is derived, means "sad." Today, we spell this word triste (echoing the spelling of its French ancestor, a descendant of the Latin tristis), whereas tristful has continued to be spelled without the e. Is there a connection between triste ("sad") and tryst ("a secret rendezvous of lovers")? No. Tryst also traces back to a Middle English trist, but it is a different word, a noun that is a synonym of trust. This other word trist eventually fell into disuse, but before doing so, it may have given rise to a word for a station used by hunters, which in turn led to tryst.
"Oberlus was at least an accomplished writer, and no mere boor; and what is more, was capable of the most tristful eloquence." — Herman Melville, The Piazza Tales, 1856
"I've been dreading the moment I wake. Waking is a tristful business for the man who reflects." — Howard Jacobson, The Independent (London), 27 Nov. 2010
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Fill in the blanks to complete a synonym of tristful: p _ t _ _ tic.VIEW THE ANSWER
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