Definition of funereal in English:



  • Having the mournful, sombre character appropriate to a funeral.

    ‘Erika was moving at a funereal pace’
    • ‘Suspended from a rod placed a little above eye level and by large heavy-looking rings, the curtain has a solemn, almost funereal effect.’
    • ‘When we got together I suggested it needed some New Orleans funeral music, half tongue-in-cheek, because their music is, well, you might say on the funereal side and they thought that was just ideal.’
    • ‘The Reverend Jolly's voice was in fact not all that far from Fulton's own, but slowed to a funereal tempo and larded with the lugubriousness of a hired mourner.’
    • ‘Other than some rather funereal markers on the courthouse lawn commemorating war dead, the Little Town had - still has - a complete art deficit.’
    • ‘His work was a flaming call to arms; hers is resigned, melancholy, even funereal.’
    • ‘This is primarily a period piece and, as you might expect from the elegiac nature of the film, the pace is appropriately funereal.’
    • ‘Later on, Lyn, Brie, Joe and Janelle go over to Harold's place, where funereal choir music is playing as everyone marches in, white-faced, for cuppas.’
    • ‘It was completed by 1700, becoming the home of the ‘dark, funereal Finches’.’
    • ‘It is a kind of living death; sitting in the auditorium and trying to affix your attention to the funereal pageant of dully unrewarding scenes and images is like having a kilo of wet cement injected into your skull.’
    • ‘Believing in literature means saying that the ghastly regime holding sway over your country is altogether insipid, compared to literature in all its funereal majesty.’
    • ‘Aside from losing the opening hole of the morning round, Ilonen was never behind although he made heavy weather of pressing home his advantage in a final played at funereal pace.’
    • ‘I recognised it as one of those forward emails, (you can read a lovingly reproduced version of it here, complete with funereal music) and I rolled my eyes.’
    • ‘Jarmusch directs with a deadpan tone throughout, always at a slow, sometimes funereal pace, his humour full of whimsy and subversion but prone to moments of idiosyncrasy that slip towards pretension.’
    • ‘As they moved at a suitably funereal pace towards the church, you could see that, even though they were incredibly smart, almost nobody looked exactly respectable.’
    • ‘Bleak, dismal, gloomy, dreary, funereal, somber: All of these adjectives could be used to describe the new album by Iceland's Sigur Ros.’
    • ‘The company argued that the music was ‘suitable and had a sombre, funereal tone’.’
    • ‘The memorial halls and gardens of the Babaoshan crematorium in the grey suburbs of Beijing are the scene of a curious game of funereal politics this weekend as China mourns a lost reformer and the Communist party tries to forget him.’
    • ‘Mourning the lack of opportunities which have thus far presented themselves, the funereal hue seems appropriate in the current Scottish footballing climate.’
    • ‘The result could add up to a big bore, especially as director James Ivory refused to move things along at anything other than a funereal pace.’
    • ‘Much like a requiem, the mood is mournful, even funereal, and the work includes passages one could label classical and minimalist.’
    solemn, sombre, grave, serious
    dark, black, drab
    View synonyms


Early 18th century: from Latin funereus (from funus, funer- ‘funeral’) + -al.