mourn·​ful | \ ˈmȯrn-fəl How to pronounce mournful (audio) \

Definition of mournful

1 : expressing sorrow : sorrowful
2 : full of sorrow : sad
3 : causing sorrow or melancholy : gloomy

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Other Words from mournful

mournfully \ ˈmȯrn-​fə-​lē How to pronounce mournful (audio) \ adverb
mournfulness noun

Examples of mournful in a Sentence

she had such a mournful expression that someone teasingly asked if her dog had died the mournful survivors of the disaster were faced with the grim task of burying the dead
Recent Examples on the Web Mark Shasha, 59, of Swampscott, Mass., stood with his canvas Monday off the sidewalk near Main Beach in Laguna Beach, mournful of how the oil spill was affecting the environment around him. Los Angeles Times, 4 Oct. 2021 The world knows Adele for alternately mournful and fiery breakup music, putting the weight of expectation on her new album, which comes after her high-profile divorce. Justin Curto, Vulture, 8 Oct. 2021 Oscar Faura’s seductive lensing implies secrets hidden in dusky shadows and blinding sunlight, while Natalia Holt’s viola-heavy score is a thing of mournful, jittery beauty. Guy Lodge, Variety, 27 Sep. 2021 Craig and Waterston have worked together to create a physique that fulfils the character's macho prerequisites, allowing the actor space to explore what else Bond could be: vengeful, jaded, loyal, loving, even mournful. Sandy Thin, CNN, 20 Sep. 2021 At Ground Zero in New York, the Pentagon and in a Pennsylvania field, the names of the dead were read at a clipped yet mournful cadence. Washington Post, 11 Sep. 2021 Beckett goes back to the house for a mournful visit and is surprised when Xenakis and a woman show up and start shooting at him. Ed Masley, The Arizona Republic, 13 Aug. 2021 An orange sun is setting over the sea, and the mood is mildly Fellini-esque, at once festive and mournful. J. Hoberman, The New York Review of Books, 22 Oct. 2020 Boris Vishnevsky is a slight man with thin graying hair, mournful eyes, and a beard., 16 Sep. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Dictionary Entries Near mournful

mourners' bench



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Last Updated

24 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mournful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of mournful

: full of sorrow : very sad


mourn·​ful | \ ˈmȯrn-fəl How to pronounce mournful (audio) \

Kids Definition of mournful

1 : full of sorrow or sadness a mournful face
2 : causing sorrow mournful news

Other Words from mournful

mournfully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb spoke mournfully

More from Merriam-Webster on mournful

Nglish: Translation of mournful for Spanish Speakers


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