Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • adjective excessively mournful

Etymologies

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

[From Latin lūgubris, from lūgēre, to mourn.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin lūgubris ("mournful; gloomy")

Examples

  • 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.

    Chapter 3

  • 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

  • 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

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

    Archive 2009-04-19

  • 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

Comments

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

    December 3, 2006

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

    February 2, 2007

  • "(He lifts his mutilated ashen face moonwards and bays lugubriously.)"

    Joyce, Ulysses, 15

    February 8, 2007

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

    September 28, 2007

  • Why did I say the same thing twice?

    April 30, 2008

  • Because your dog is especially lugubrious? :-)

    April 30, 2008

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

    April 30, 2008

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

    April 30, 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

  • I didn't say my dog looks lugubrious!

    May 1, 2008