Definition of sorrowful in English:



  • 1Feeling or showing grief.

    ‘she looked at him with sorrowful eyes’
    • ‘Don Quixote grows calm and sorrowful, and with good reason, as he approaches his final defeat at the hands of Sanson Carrasco.’
    • ‘Some 300 others stood outside, laying wreaths at the old iron gates where a bell ringer tolled sorrowful notes from a small bell.’
    • ‘Fortunately, the reactions have been sane, yet sorrowful.’
    • ‘I could tell she was quite sorrowful, I could hear tears in her voice, but other than that, there was no comment.’
    • ‘My dear friend's eyes, wet with tears, fixed me in a sorrowful gaze.’
    • ‘By now you all know Armagh's fate and the village will either be in jubilant or sorrowful mood.’
    • ‘But as ever, caution is required: the unleashing of a sorrowful and angry superpower is a frightening prospect for the world.’
    • ‘Here's a small sample of sorrowful words taken from the testimonies.’
    • ‘His sorrowful, pale face stretches into a grin.’
    • ‘He added: ‘When we heard about the causeway being breached we were sorrowful.’’
    • ‘The largest crowd ever seen attended to pay a sorrowful farewell to beloved Edel.’
    • ‘A famous Ottoman song has sorrowful soldiers trudging up the ‘steep road’ to Mus, and never coming back.’
    • ‘Whenever Harold falters, Albert produces one of his pained, sorrowful looks and laments about being a burden to him.’
    • ‘Celes simply turned to Nataki and gave her a sorrowful smile.’
    • ‘As if in mournful counterpoint to his own grief, the boy heard the clear, sorrowful notes of an alto sax keening and sobbing out a blues melody.’
    • ‘As he put the key in the lock he turned to me with a sorrowful shake of the head and whispered: ‘Never remarry in haste.’’
    • ‘The sorrowful good-byes continued for several minutes before a police officer replaced the handcuffs.’
    • ‘His eyes were liquid and sorrowful but totally uncomprehending.’
    • ‘The quiet end has Paarsha's boat approaching the village shore, his mother's sorrowful face awaiting the son's homecoming.’
    • ‘Smokey's words are sorrowful, but he seems simultaneously elated to have found the right images to convey that pain.’
    sad, unhappy, dejected, regretful, depressed, downcast, miserable, downhearted, down, despondent, despairing, disconsolate, desolate, bowed down, wretched, glum, gloomy, doleful, dismal, blue, melancholy, melancholic, low-spirited, mournful, woeful, woebegone, forlorn, crestfallen, broken-hearted, heartbroken, inconsolable, grief-stricken
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    1. 1.1 Causing grief.
      ‘the sorrowful news of his father's death’
      • ‘Well, news which has sorrowful ramifications for the band anyway.’
      • ‘I'll be back later with the sorrowful news when I figure out how I want to say it.’
      • ‘Her sorrowful situation was a topic well worth avoiding.’
      • ‘Neither of you have any idea of the true human, sorrowful cost of war nor do you care that you are ruining lives by the thousands and thousands.’
      • ‘It was a sorrowful event in the life of the Queen.’
      • ‘She wept because the tale she read was tragic, deeply sorrowful without more than the slightest bit of hope in it.’
      • ‘There's certainly more facts to discover about this whole ugly, sorrowful story.’
      • ‘Certainly, the movies are comedies, emphatically painful and sorrowful comedies, but they are comedies.’
      • ‘It's a sorrowful tale, full of tragic imagery - go on, just read those lyrics.’
      • ‘I look down at the results of 20 minutes of pushing and scraping to find that all I've achieved is a sorrowful two drops of purée.’
      • ‘There were prints of the front pages of some of the top international dailies with the sorrowful news that made headlines that day.’
      • ‘They just happen to be very sad, painful comedies, very sorrowful.’
      • ‘Everyone who knew David sends condolences and love to Janet at this sorrowful time.’
      • ‘I enjoyed listening to the last track, The Voice Of Love, though the low, sorrowful music made me cry a bit as I listened.’
      • ‘In other news, Eddie seems to be going through sorrowful times.’
      • ‘The edict, it states, was drawn up because of the ‘critical and sorrowful situation and lack of security and to serve the common good’.’
      • ‘It is sorrowful, rueful, and pragmatic and not quite as heart breaking as many others on his album Northwest Passage.’
      • ‘The army has publicly acknowledged its responsibilities for the violent and sorrowful past that affected us all.’
      • ‘‘Under the weather’ usefully conveys whatever sorrowful state of health you might find yourself in.’
      • ‘Thousands of people have been displaced and this is extremely sorrowful and heartrending.’
      tragic, sad, unhappy, awful, miserable, wretched, sorry, pitiful, pitiable, grievous, traumatic, upsetting, depressing, distressing, disturbing, disquieting, dispiriting, heartbreaking, heart-rending, agonizing, harrowing
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Old English sorhful (see sorrow, -ful).