Main definitions of sad in English

: sad1SAD2



  • 1Feeling or showing sorrow; unhappy.

    ‘I was sad and subdued’
    ‘they looked at her with sad, anxious faces’
    • ‘As I saw him off at the airport, I was at once proud of him, sad and anxious - he was my little brother.’
    • ‘She cast a sad momentary glance around the room then stood up to retrieve her coat.’
    • ‘The sad depressing reality of it all is that it's far worse than it sounds.’
    • ‘It's sad and depressing, and I don't want it to become merely taken for granted and unremarked.’
    • ‘Christmas can be a sad and depressing time for many of us who will be spending it alone.’
    • ‘I can feel depressed and sad enough just knowing about tragedy in a generalized sense.’
    • ‘His son had been killed and he was a sad broken old man with a terrible tale to tell.’
    • ‘The last twenty years of Plumb's life were increasingly sad, lonely and unhappy.’
    • ‘Her sad blue eyes immediately started to sparkle at the mention of the man she loved.’
    • ‘Every time I felt unhappy and sad I just ate what I wanted and made myself sick.’
    • ‘The blue fish was right next to him, and he seemed kinda sad and depressed, so I bought him, too.’
    • ‘So if you're ever depressed, sad or lonely, go and have yourself some clear soup and get real with Dr. Phil.’
    • ‘Maybe it is just a character study of a sad, desperate man and his sad depressing life.’
    • ‘For a few it is a constant companion, shading even the brightest of days, rendering them sad and melancholy.’
    • ‘A sad guy in a blue parka shakes his head and pushes a folded bill across the counter.’
    • ‘There was a sad, almost tearful glimmer in the older man's eyes I couldn't make out.’
    • ‘A year ago I arrived at her door sad, depressed, suicidal, and tormented by my demons.’
    • ‘This may sound horribly sad and depressing to all you free teens but in fact I liked the quiet life.’
    • ‘So, to think about if for very long is quite overwhelming, upsetting and very sad.’
    unhappy, sorrowful, dejected, regretful, depressed, downcast, miserable, downhearted, down, despondent, despairing, disconsolate, out of sorts, 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 or characterized by sorrow or regret; unfortunate and regrettable.
      ‘he told her the sad story of his life’
      ‘a sad day for us all’
      • ‘The woman who helped my mother was in a very sad situation, unfortunately not uncommon at the time.’
      • ‘Why then should we close the pubs because of one sad and unfortunate accident in Bradshawgate?’
      • ‘Anyone tempted to think this is a sad story of dependence would be wrong.’
      • ‘Her biography of Nietzsche is a double hagiography, comic and almost sad in its reflection of her own will to power.’
      • ‘The fifth column this week is a sad reflection of what journalism has come to.’
      • ‘I watch coverage of both sad stories with resignation and with great sorrow for the suffering.’
      • ‘A sad and unfortunate chain of events last night has rendered my computer useless.’
      • ‘Two nights out with two of my oldest friends, each with a different and sad story about life in London in 2003.’
      • ‘The story is a sad indictment of the values now perhaps inevitably prevailing in the entertainment business.’
      • ‘There was a kind of sad regret in her voice despite the practicality of her words, and her eyes betrayed what she was saying.’
      • ‘The problem is that what the challenger had to say and do to be elected is a sad reflection of American politics today.’
      • ‘It is a sad reflection on our societies that we have to escape from reality in these ways.’
      • ‘It seems to be the sad story of most weekends that the weather turns to windy.’
      • ‘Here in Toronto we have our own sad and terrifying story of inaction in the face of murder.’
      • ‘The whole sad story indicates how badly the police force has dealt with the concerns of women.’
      • ‘It is a sad and extraordinary story, and one that needed to be told.’
      • ‘These are not romantic, but sad stories in the annals of immigrant experiences.’
      • ‘It is a sad story and ironic in a way because so many French couples don't want children.’
      • ‘In his autobiography Russell reports this sad interlude with agonized regret.’
      • ‘But it will be a sad reflection on his stewardship of Scotland's first administration.’
      • ‘I think it is a sad reflection on society that teenage girls can get pregnant.’
      tragic, unhappy, unfortunate, awful, sorrowful, miserable, cheerless, wretched, sorry, pitiful, pitiable, grievous, traumatic, upsetting, depressing, distressing, dispiriting, heartbreaking, heart-rending, agonizing, harrowing
      unfortunate, regrettable, sorry, wretched, deplorable, lamentable, pitiful, pitiable, pathetic, shameful, disgraceful
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  • 2informal Pathetically inadequate or unfashionable.

    ‘the show is tongue-in-cheek—anyone who takes it seriously is a bit sad’
    • ‘Human nature and its failings are given a crude inspection, at times becoming a sad, pathetic spectacle.’
    • ‘I'd just go back to my hotel and eat a sad grilled cheese sandwich and watch something depressing on television.’
    • ‘It's a sad and pathetic conclusion but I see no evidence that suggests any different.’
    • ‘It is a sad and pathetic world outlook that we are hearing from the National Party.’
    • ‘I think there a couple of pretty sad, tatty tapes from rehearsals at our parents' place.’
    • ‘I'm sure that I'm sounding like either a pathetic lovelorn teenager or a sad bitter queen.’
    • ‘The sad thing about finishing second at the Masters is that you are so easily forgotten’
    • ‘I'm now in the sad position of not having a pair of pants left that don't require a degree of cinching under my belt.’
    • ‘Well, if you want to know how sad and pathetic a scene it was, you can get the same feeling here.’
    • ‘Even if you are very successful in other areas, your poor sad mind is not being given a chance to be free.’
    • ‘The women defending the practice of underage sex seem terribly sad to me.’
    • ‘Food shopping as I've said before is one of the highlights of my pathetically sad week.’
    • ‘There's no shame in being on your own, but eating that sort of rubbish - now that is sad.’
    • ‘I now feel sad and inadequate that I don't have enough bookmarks to make filing and indexing them an issue.’
    • ‘It could be cool, or on the other hand, it could be incredibly sad and pathetic.’
    • ‘A goal by senior player Tony Scroope after just 90 seconds proved a sad indicator of the mismatch.’
    • ‘It is no art, just a sad, quite sad, attempt at craft, clever and crude, for commerce.’
    • ‘John Sweeney has attempted a sad little smear against his foe which rebounded in terrible fashion on him.’
    • ‘It's sad that they leave rubbish behind and equally sad that the resources of the council have to be deployed to clear it up.’
    substandard, below standard, below par, bad, deficient, defective, faulty, imperfect, inferior, mediocre
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  • 3(of dough) heavy through having failed to rise.


  • sad to say

    • Unfortunately, regrettably.

      • ‘The meal itself was bland and flavourless; it's sad to say that a supermarket microwave meal would have been more exciting and better value for money.’
      • ‘The quest for a healthier life was not advanced this weekend, sad to say.’
      • ‘I'm sad to say that I regretted my decision to come the moment I stepped in.’
      • ‘Big Engine was a small UK-based sci-fi publisher, and, sad to say, it went the way of many another big engine - it sort of blew up.’
      • ‘Yes, sad to say, but American hegemony puts more money in the hands of those who believe everything is fair in business and in war.’
      • ‘But Ireland v Scotland, sad to say, is a sideshow this weekend; the main event is in Paris where France take on the English.’
      • ‘I'm very sad to say that I didn't take advantage of the Missing Hour.’
      • ‘I'm sad to say that my success as a basketball scientist was short-lived.’
      • ‘I really detest most of the food in this category, I'm sad to say.’
      • ‘It's sad to say that my parting memory of Safeway - finally gobbled up by Morrison's - will be of rip-off special deals.’
      unluckily, sadly, regrettably, unhappily, woefully, lamentably, alas, sad to say, sad to relate
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Old English sæd ‘sated, weary’, also ‘weighty, dense’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zat and German satt, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin satis ‘enough’. The original meaning was replaced in Middle English by the senses ‘steadfast, firm’ and ‘serious, sober’, and later ‘sorrowful’.




Main definitions of sad in English

: sad1SAD2


  • Seasonal affective disorder.