Definitions

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

  • adj. Sorrowful; gloomy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Sad, melancholic.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Sad; sorrowful; gloomy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Sad; sorrowful.

Etymologies

Middle English : triste, sad; see triste + -ful, -ful.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • She catches my hand, squeezes, holds me in her tristful gaze.

    Lingering over Drinks

  • The feelings of disappointment and grief then rankling in every Irish breast are well mirrored in that plaintive song of our national poet, which open with these tristful lines: ---

    Speeches from the Dock, Part I

  • Your dress is black, and during the time of waiting you compose your visage into a "tristful 'haviour," and lean in silent solemnity upon the top of your cane, thinking about -- last night's party.

    The Laws of Etiquette

  • The brave, the royal Alonzo heard not the voice of his enchanting dulcinea; he, poor fellow, with difficulty supported his trembling frame against an ancient _memento mori_, which reared its tristful crest within a whisper of the lattice of the lovely Carlotta.

    The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 12, No. 329, August 30, 1828

  • George had retained his mourning, a tribute completed down to the final details of black gloves and a polished ebony cane (which he would have been pained to name otherwise than as a "walking-stick") and in the aura of this sombre elegance his straight figure and drawn face were not without a tristful and appealing dignity.

    The Magnificent Ambersons; illustrated by Arthur William Brown

  • George had retained his mourning, a tribute completed down to the final details of black gloves and a polished ebony cane (which he would have been pained to name otherwise than as a “walking-stick”) and in the aura of this sombre elegance his straight figure and drawn face were not without a tristful and appealing dignity.

    Chapter 27

  • Indeed, it is hard to trace folly, for that it is inconsequent, to its start; and perhaps it savours too much of reason to suggest that the prejudice was due to the tristful confusion man has made of soul and surface.

    The Works of Max Beerbohm

  • This iron grating was the most necessary feature of all, for I intended that on the other side of it my relations should range themselves -- I mentally ran over the catalogue, and saw that the whole gang was present, all in their proper places -- a sad-eyed row, combined in tristful appeal.

    Dream Days

  • Here they ended, and the children began again, not to chant but to sing .. a strange and tristful tune, wilder than any that vragrant winds could play on the strings of an aeolian lyre:

    Ardath

  • Carmelo, as he crouched at the tiller, was singing, in a low, clear alto, some tristful little melody.

    Chita: a Memory of Last Island

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