sor·​row·​ful ˈsär-(ˌ)ō-fəl How to pronounce sorrowful (audio)
: full of or marked by sorrow
a sorrowful goodbye
: expressive of or inducing sorrow
sorrowful eyes
ˈsär-(ˌ)ō-f(ə-)lē How to pronounce sorrowful (audio)
ˈsär-(ˌ)ō-fəl-nəs How to pronounce sorrowful (audio)

Example Sentences

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 Rocket’s soft, yet sorrowful eyes and furry exterior have always belied his horrific past. Ken Makin, The Christian Science Monitor, 5 May 2023 The album is a triumph, yet when listened to in the stark reality of the here and now, certain songs take on a sorrowful identity the group never imagined possible. Dallas News, 11 Mar. 2022 DeMent’s hillbilly guilt emits some good, sorrowful moaning, though. Armond White, National Review, 28 Apr. 2023 As Carmen, Barrera isn’t given much more to play than sorrowful, occasionally determined purity of heart, a far cry from the wild seductress of the original tale. Guy Lodge, Variety, 21 Apr. 2023 The movie is a sorrowful look at the break up of married couple Charlie (Adam Driver) and Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) and the journey to mend their family. Brooke Lamantia, Harper's BAZAAR, 6 Apr. 2023 Among these tragedies was the sorrowful March 27, 2023, mass shootings at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tenn. Breaking News Get the latest breaking news from North Texas and beyond. Norma Adams-wade, Dallas News, 5 Apr. 2023 As Agathe comes to understand the extent of her troubles, Exarchopoulos’ performance achieves a sorrowful gravitas. Jon Frosch, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Jan. 2023 Heartfelt tributes, perfect scores, and more than one sorrowful goodbye, Stars Stories week on Dancing With the Stars was like no other. Calie Schepp,, 19 Oct. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sorrowful.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near sorrowful

Cite this Entry

“Sorrowful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


sor·​row·​ful ˈsär-ō-fəl How to pronounce sorrowful (audio)
: full of or showing sorrow
a sorrowful good-bye
: expressive of or causing sorrow
sorrowful eyes
sorrowfully adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on sorrowful

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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