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

Other Words from sorrowful

sorrowfully \ ˈsär-​(ˌ)ō-​f(ə-​)lē How to pronounce sorrowful (audio) , -​ə-​f(ə-​)lē , ˈsȯr-​ \ adverb
sorrowfulness \ ˈsär-​(ˌ)ō-​fəl-​nəs How to pronounce sorrowful (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 Although often sorrowful and sometimes sentimental, his music is always poetic and exceedingly beautiful. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2022 The nonprofit leader was at first outraged and then sorrowful. John Byrne, Chicago Tribune, 4 May 2022 Recordings of the cantor, and of an ecstatic congregation, lead the ascent through dance and prayer, the orchestra entering into its own jumpy or sorrowful klezmer-like riffs. Los Angeles Times, 4 May 2022 Between the brash-to-humble son and his angry-to-sorrowful father, the movie confesses masculinity’s quintessential struggle. Armond White, National Review, 20 Apr. 2022 At the other end of the bar was the curtained hatch to the back kitchen, then the sorrowful passageway to the jacks. Kevin Barry, The New Yorker, 4 Apr. 2022 Sevigny is excellent, worn in different ways before and after her son’s death, handling him with care but not kid gloves in life, more sorrowful than vengeful afterward. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar. 2022 Elene Naveriani’s sorrowful drama finds its emotional anchor in Agumava’s understatedly potent performance as a man grieving in the shadows. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 17 Mar. 2022 Postseason play in any sport brings with it the possibilities of great memories and sorrowful endings. Steve Kroner, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of sorrowful

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

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

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Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sorrowful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for sorrowful


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

More from Merriam-Webster on sorrowful

Nglish: Translation of sorrowful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sorrowful for Arabic Speakers


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