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[dol-er-uh s, doh-ler-]
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  1. full of, expressing, or causing pain or sorrow; grievous; mournful: a dolorous melody; dolorous news.

Origin of dolorous

1375–1425; Middle English dolorous, dolerous < Anglo-French, Old French; see dolor, -ous
Related formsdol·or·ous·ly, adverbdol·or·ous·ness, nounun·dol·or·ous, adjectiveun·dol·or·ous·ly, adverbun·dol·or·ous·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for dolorous


  1. causing or involving pain or sorrow
Derived Formsdolorously, adverbdolorousness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for dolorous


c.1400, "causing pain," from Old French doloros (12c., Modern French douloureux) "painful, sorrowful, wretched," from Late Latin dolorosus "painful, sorrowful," from Latin dolor "pain, grief." Sense of "causing grief" is from mid-15c.; that of "full of sorrow" is from 1510s. Related: Dolorously; dolorousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper