Definitions

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

  • adj. Mournful, dismal, or gloomy, especially to an exaggerated or ludicrous degree.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. gloomy, mournful or dismal, especially to an exaggerated degree.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Mournful; indicating sorrow, often ridiculously or feignedly; doleful; woful; pitiable.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Characterized by or expressing mourning or sorrow; mournful; doleful; funereal; dejected: as, lugubrious wailing; a lugubrious look or voice.
  • Exciting mournful feelings; pitiful; dismal; depressing: as, a lugubrious spectacle or event.
  • Synonyms Sorrowful, melancholy, doleful.

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

  • adj. excessively mournful

Etymologies

From Latin lūgubris, from lūgēre, to mourn.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin lūgubris ("mournful; gloomy") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • He heaved a great sigh, and said in lugubrious tones:

    The Black Moth: A Romance of the XVIII Century

  • A certain lugubrious yarn, "My Graves," was my masterpiece.

    The Alpine Path: The Story of My Career

  • He saw the two whale-boats land on the beach, and the sick, on stretchers or pick-a-back, groaning and wailing, go by in lugubrious procession.

    The Jessie

  • A Southern correspondent sends the following incident from real life, which illustrates the well-known negro fondness for so-called lugubrious festivals:

    Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 11, No. 24, March, 1873

  • Lady Teazle and Mrs. Oakley were certainly no exceptions to this experience of a cold fit of absolute incapacity with which I received every new part appointed me, and my studying of them might have been called lugubrious, whatever my subsequent performance of them may have been.

    Records of a Girlhood

  • In some of the tributes I've found on the web, the word "lugubrious" kept popping up: "excessively mournful".

    Archive 2009-04-19

  • You click on the word "lugubrious" and it gives you a dictionary definition, or the word "Taj Mahal" and it shows you a jpg picture.

    Archive 2009-07-01

  • Media Mob reader Peter Van Allen writes in to point out the recurring pattern: Besides McCarthy and Irving, Kakutani has applied the "lugubrious" label to Graham Swift, Don DeLillo, Mark Helprin, J.M. Coetzee and many more.

    Lugubrious and Repetitive

  • "Who will point out to Kakutani that she's overused 'lugubrious'?"

    Lugubrious and Repetitive

  • A quick search turns up 41 instances of "lugubrious," "lugubriously," or "lugubriousness" in Kakutani's work -- about two a year, on average.

    Lugubrious and Repetitive

Comments

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  • CAROUSEL

    May 26, 2011

  • Oh, I love you all, and your dogs' lugubrious faces.

    May 2, 2011

  • Chained, did you know that Prolagus has an English cocker spaniel who, though not lugubrious, deserves two or more comments?

    May 2, 2011

  • He obviously never met my dog. (EIGHT!! Boo-yah!)

    May 2, 2011

  • My band teacher thinks that he created this word...

    May 2, 2011

  • The next planet was inhabited by a tippler. This was a very short visit, but it plunged the little prince into deep dejection.

    "What are you doing there?" he said to the tippler, whom he found settled down in silence before a collection of empty bottles and also a collection of full bottles.

    I am drinking," replied the tippler, with a lugubrious air.

    "Why are you drinking?" demanded the little prince.

    "So that I may forget," replied the tippler.

    "Forget what?" inquired the little prince, who already was sorry for him.

    "Forget that I am ashamed," the tippler confessed, hanging his head.

    "Ashamed of what?" insisted the little prince, who wanted to help him.

    "Ashamed of drinking!" The tippler brought his speech to an end, and shut himself up in an impregnable silence.

    And the little prince went away, puzzled.

    "The grown-ups are certainly very, very odd," he said to himself, as he continued on his journey.

    -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    July 24, 2009

  • dbmag9 - I LOVE your comment. I will never think of lugubrious the same way, which is the point, right?

    February 28, 2009

  • There. Now you're even. Unless.... *mwwahaha*

    May 1, 2008

  • I love lugubrious dog faces. And I would love your dog's. (seven)

    May 1, 2008

  • That's five. Oh, wait--that's six, if I say "chained_bear's dog."

    May 1, 2008

  • Well, I'm going to talk about my dog so she'll have seven as well. My dog is a hound dog. She has a lugubrious expression, even when she's happy.

    May 1, 2008

  • OK, now he has seven.

    May 1, 2008

  • That your dog deserves two comments? Well, doesn't every dog? :-)

    c_b, spaniel sounds all spangly to me.

    May 1, 2008

  • ... oh... What were you saying?

    May 1, 2008

  • I didn't say my dog looks lugubrious!

    May 1, 2008

  • I think Cocker spaniels do look kind of mournful. Not as mournful as, say, Bassett hounds (mine is not a Bassett though).

    Does anyone else think spaniel is a good-mouthfeel word?

    April 30, 2008

  • Really? I wouldn't have thought it possible for an English cocker spaniel to look lugubrious. :-)

    April 30, 2008

  • My dog, an English cocker spaniel, would deserve two comments as well.

    April 30, 2008

  • Because your dog is especially lugubrious? :-)

    April 30, 2008

  • Why did I say the same thing twice?

    April 30, 2008

  • This is the exact word to describe my dog's expression.

    September 28, 2007

  • "(He lifts his mutilated ashen face moonwards and bays lugubriously.)"
    Joyce, Ulysses, 15

    February 8, 2007

  • Lugubrious describes, at any given moment, the facial expression of my hound dog.

    February 2, 2007

  • Your mind oozes glumness. What word could better describe your emotion?

    December 3, 2006