Definition of dolour in English:


(US dolor)


mass nounliterary
  • A state of great sorrow or distress.

    ‘they squatted, hunched in their habitual dolour’
    • ‘Following that exchange, his dolor and lamentations were both replaced with one sensation: rage.’
    • ‘It shows weedy tangles of wildflowers lifting their leaves sunward as spring advances and winter's dolor is shucked off for another year.’
    • ‘I thought she might be a little subdued by a Monday morning dolour - as most normal people are - and discreetly removed my phone receiver from its cradle.’
    • ‘Smith circles his themes with the obsessive dolor of a man lamenting a lost opportunity, spawning gorgeous, tangential what-ifs and could've beens.’
    • ‘It is a plaintive, understated effort infused with dolour and an air of vulnerability.’
    sadness, sorrow, unhappiness, dejection, regret, depression, misery, cheerlessness, downheartedness, despondency, despair, desolation, wretchedness, glumness, gloom, gloominess, heaviness of heart, dolefulness, melancholy, low spirits, mournfulness, woe, broken-heartedness, heartache, grief
    View synonyms


Middle English (denoting both physical and mental pain or distress): via Old French from Latin dolor ‘pain, grief’.