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
He heaved a great sigh, and said in lugubrious tones:
A certain lugubrious yarn, "My Graves," was my masterpiece.
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.
A Southern correspondent sends the following incident from real life, which illustrates the well-known negro fondness for so-called lugubrious festivals:
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.
In some of the tributes I've found on the web, the word "lugubrious" kept popping up: "excessively mournful".
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.
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.
"Who will point out to Kakutani that she's overused 'lugubrious'?"
A quick search turns up 41 instances of "lugubrious," "lugubriously," or "lugubriousness" in Kakutani's work -- about two a year, on average.