Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Feeling or expressing sorrow or grief; sorrowful.
  • adj. Causing or suggesting sadness or melancholy: the mournful sound of a train whistle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Filled with grief or sadness; being in a state in which one mourns.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Full of sorrow; expressing, or intended to express, sorrow; mourning; grieving; sad; also, causing sorrow; saddening; grievous

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Sorrowful; oppressed with grief.
  • Denoting or expressing mourning or sorrow; exhibiting the appearance of grief: as, mournful music; a mournful aspect.
  • Causing sorrow; deplorable; doleful: as, a mournful death.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. filled with or evoking sadness
  • adj. expressing sorrow

Etymologies

mourn +‎ -ful (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • They describe in mournful tones the image of the lonely CEO sitting in his office late at night filling out government forms.

    Blackburn calls Dems plan a 'nightmare'

  • This is a poem describing in mournful fashion the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.

    RCIA Presentation: The Old Testament

  • The fog and frost so hung about the black old gateway of the house, that it seemed as if the Genius of the Weather sat in mournful meditation on the threshold.

    A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Stave 1 Marley’s Ghost | Solar Flare: Science Fiction News

  • In a few minutes the signs of German havoc would be hidden behind stacks of crockery and household utensils, and some of the pale women we had left in mournful contemplation of the ruins would be bargaining as sharply as ever for a sauce-pan or a butter-tub.

    Fighting France

  • Profoundly discouraged, we ride on after this in mournful silence.

    Untrodden Peaks and Unfrequented Valleys

  • He led his victim away in mournful triumph, leaving the girls in a high state of indignation, and with a slight hope that Miss Monteneros might eventually turn out his consoler.

    The Semi-Detached House

  • She sat up, without attempting to read, write, or employ herself, patrolling her chamber in mournful rumination.

    Camilla: or, A Picture of Youth

  • WHEN summoned to tea, Camilla, upon entering the parlour, found Sir Hugh in mournful discourse with Edgar upon the nonappearance of Dr. Orkborne.

    Camilla: or, A Picture of Youth

  • Send for cunning women, that know how to compose mournful ditties, or at least to sing them in mournful tunes and accents, and therefore are made use of at funerals to supply the want of true mourners.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume IV (Isaiah to Malachi)

  • MONIMIA, secure of the tenderest affection of her lover, bore, without more repining, the little hardships to which her situation exposed her; – but her mind looked forward, in mournful anticipation, to the time when she should no longer hear that soothing voice lending her courage against every transient evil; no longer receive continual assurances of the ardour and generosity of his attachment; and find in his disinterested love, his attentive friendship, sufficient consolation against her uncertain or uneasy destiny.

    The Old Manor House

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.