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

  • adj. Characterized or swayed by sentiment.
  • adj. Affectedly or extravagantly emotional.
  • adj. Resulting from or colored by emotion rather than reason or realism.
  • adj. Appealing to the sentiments, especially to romantic feelings: sentimental music.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. characterized by sentiment, sentimentality or excess emotion
  • adj. derived from emotion rather than reason
  • adj. romantic

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having, expressing, or containing a sentiment or sentiments; abounding with moral reflections; containing a moral reflection; didactic.
  • adj. Inclined to sentiment; having an excess of sentiment or sensibility; indulging the sensibilities for their own sake; artificially or affectedly tender; -- often in a reproachful sense.
  • adj. Addressed or pleasing to the emotions only, usually to the weaker and the unregulated emotions.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Swayed, or apt to be swayed, by sentiment; of a tender and susceptible heart; mawkishly tender or susceptible: as, a sentimental person.
  • Containing or characterized by sentiment; appealing to the feelings rather than to reason: as, a sentimental song; sentimental works.
  • Synonyms Romantic, Sentimental (see romantic), hysterical, gushing, etc. (in style).
  • Of or pertaining to sentimentalism.

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

  • adj. given to or marked by sentiment or sentimentality
  • adj. effusively or insincerely emotional


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Whereas the term "sentimental" can be used more often than not to hint at an indulgence in the emotionality it can imply, when speaking of a movie it might refer to the film being used to pull on the heartstrings and provoke the tear ducts of the audience in a contrived and calculated manner.

    Carol Smaldino: A Surprise of Sentiment and 50-50

  • I went back to the Philippines with MacArthur on his final journey there in 1961, what he called his sentimental journey.

    In Our Image: America's Empire in the Philippines

  • He would have liked to have left them behind altogether, and even tried to laugh Beth out of what he called her sentimental attachment to odds and ends; but as most of the things had belonged to Aunt Victoria, she took his ridicule so ill that he wisely let the subject drop.

    The Beth Book Being a Study of the Life of Elizabeth Caldwell Maclure, a Woman of Genius

  • General Botha and General Smuts were ready to concede almost every material point, provided what they called the sentimental objection against race distinction was waived by the Indian community.


  • “But isn't that what you call sentimental?” said Vincent.

    Father Payne

  • You say 'the sentimental is always a got-up thing,' a 'do at the bottom of it.'

    Selections from the Letters of Geraldine Endsor Jewsbury to Jane Welsh Carlyle

  • We have already established in these (blog) pages that I don't think "sentimental" is a dirty word -- as long as the emotion is honestly earned, that I adore a good cry -- as long as I don't feel jerked around, and that I consider "old fashioned" a term of art, not an insult.


  • I have no interest in sentimental, saccharine portrayals – life's too short for untruths.

    Claire Messud discusses The Emperor's Children

  • For the meanings of tears in sentimental fiction see Csengei, "I Will Not Weep."


  • What was it about childhood and homelife that made people weep in sentimental love when they thought about it?

    Archive 2007-12-01


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