Definition of sorrowful in English:



  • 1Feeling or showing grief.

    ‘she looked at him with sorrowful eyes’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘A famous Ottoman song has sorrowful soldiers trudging up the ‘steep road’ to Mus, and never coming back.’
    • ‘The quiet end has Paarsha's boat approaching the village shore, his mother's sorrowful face awaiting the son's homecoming.’
    • ‘Fortunately, the reactions have been sane, yet sorrowful.’
    • ‘His eyes were liquid and sorrowful but totally uncomprehending.’
    • ‘The sorrowful good-byes continued for several minutes before a police officer replaced the handcuffs.’
    • ‘His sorrowful, pale face stretches into a grin.’
    • ‘By now you all know Armagh's fate and the village will either be in jubilant or sorrowful mood.’
    • ‘Smokey's words are sorrowful, but he seems simultaneously elated to have found the right images to convey that pain.’
    • ‘Celes simply turned to Nataki and gave her a sorrowful smile.’
    • ‘I could tell she was quite sorrowful, I could hear tears in her voice, but other than that, there was no comment.’
    • ‘Here's a small sample of sorrowful words taken from the testimonies.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Whenever Harold falters, Albert produces one of his pained, sorrowful looks and laments about being a burden to him.’
    • ‘The largest crowd ever seen attended to pay a sorrowful farewell to beloved Edel.’
    • ‘My dear friend's eyes, wet with tears, fixed me in a sorrowful gaze.’
    • ‘He added: ‘When we heard about the causeway being breached we were sorrowful.’’
    • ‘But as ever, caution is required: the unleashing of a sorrowful and angry superpower is a frightening prospect for the world.’
    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’
      • ‘Thousands of people have been displaced and this is extremely sorrowful and heartrending.’
      • ‘Well, news which has sorrowful ramifications for the band anyway.’
      • ‘There were prints of the front pages of some of the top international dailies with the sorrowful news that made headlines that day.’
      • ‘There's certainly more facts to discover about this whole ugly, sorrowful story.’
      • ‘She wept because the tale she read was tragic, deeply sorrowful without more than the slightest bit of hope in it.’
      • ‘Certainly, the movies are comedies, emphatically painful and sorrowful comedies, but they are comedies.’
      • ‘They just happen to be very sad, painful comedies, very sorrowful.’
      • ‘‘Under the weather’ usefully conveys whatever sorrowful state of health you might find yourself in.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I enjoyed listening to the last track, The Voice Of Love, though the low, sorrowful music made me cry a bit as I listened.’
      • ‘I'll be back later with the sorrowful news when I figure out how I want to say it.’
      • ‘It's a sorrowful tale, full of tragic imagery - go on, just read those lyrics.’
      • ‘Everyone who knew David sends condolences and love to Janet at this sorrowful time.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In other news, Eddie seems to be going through sorrowful times.’
      • ‘It is sorrowful, rueful, and pragmatic and not quite as heart breaking as many others on his album Northwest Passage.’
      • ‘The edict, it states, was drawn up because of the ‘critical and sorrowful situation and lack of security and to serve the common good’.’
      • ‘The army has publicly acknowledged its responsibilities for the violent and sorrowful past that affected us all.’
      • ‘Her sorrowful situation was a topic well worth avoiding.’
      • ‘It was a sorrowful event in the life of the Queen.’
      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).