Definition of sorrowful in US English:



  • 1Feeling or showing grief.

    ‘she looked at him with sorrowful eyes’
    • ‘Smokey's words are sorrowful, but he seems simultaneously elated to have found the right images to convey that pain.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘My dear friend's eyes, wet with tears, fixed me in a sorrowful gaze.’
    • ‘The largest crowd ever seen attended to pay a sorrowful farewell to beloved Edel.’
    • ‘His eyes were liquid and sorrowful but totally uncomprehending.’
    • ‘But as ever, caution is required: the unleashing of a sorrowful and angry superpower is a frightening prospect for the world.’
    • ‘His sorrowful, pale face stretches into a grin.’
    • ‘I could tell she was quite sorrowful, I could hear tears in her voice, but other than that, there was no comment.’
    • ‘He added: ‘When we heard about the causeway being breached we were sorrowful.’’
    • ‘A famous Ottoman song has sorrowful soldiers trudging up the ‘steep road’ to Mus, and never coming back.’
    • ‘Fortunately, the reactions have been sane, yet sorrowful.’
    • ‘Some 300 others stood outside, laying wreaths at the old iron gates where a bell ringer tolled sorrowful notes from a small bell.’
    • ‘The sorrowful good-byes continued for several minutes before a police officer replaced the handcuffs.’
    • ‘By now you all know Armagh's fate and the village will either be in jubilant or sorrowful mood.’
    • ‘Don Quixote grows calm and sorrowful, and with good reason, as he approaches his final defeat at the hands of Sanson Carrasco.’
    • ‘Here's a small sample of sorrowful words taken from the testimonies.’
    • ‘Whenever Harold falters, Albert produces one of his pained, sorrowful looks and laments about being a burden to him.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Celes simply turned to Nataki and gave her a sorrowful smile.’
    • ‘The quiet end has Paarsha's boat approaching the village shore, his mother's sorrowful face awaiting the son's homecoming.’
    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’
      • ‘There's certainly more facts to discover about this whole ugly, sorrowful story.’
      • ‘‘Under the weather’ usefully conveys whatever sorrowful state of health you might find yourself in.’
      • ‘The edict, it states, was drawn up because of the ‘critical and sorrowful situation and lack of security and to serve the common good’.’
      • ‘Thousands of people have been displaced and this is extremely sorrowful and heartrending.’
      • ‘Certainly, the movies are comedies, emphatically painful and sorrowful comedies, but they are comedies.’
      • ‘The army has publicly acknowledged its responsibilities for the violent and sorrowful past that affected us all.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I'll be back later with the sorrowful news when I figure out how I want to say it.’
      • ‘It is sorrowful, rueful, and pragmatic and not quite as heart breaking as many others on his album Northwest Passage.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Well, news which has sorrowful ramifications for the band anyway.’
      • ‘She wept because the tale she read was tragic, deeply sorrowful without more than the slightest bit of hope in it.’
      • ‘Her sorrowful situation was a topic well worth avoiding.’
      • ‘In other news, Eddie seems to be going through sorrowful times.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's a sorrowful tale, full of tragic imagery - go on, just read those lyrics.’
      • ‘It was a sorrowful event in the life of the Queen.’
      • ‘I enjoyed listening to the last track, The Voice Of Love, though the low, sorrowful music made me cry a bit as I listened.’
      • ‘There were prints of the front pages of some of the top international dailies with the sorrowful news that made headlines that day.’
      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).