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[sad-n] /ˈsæd n/
verb (used with or without object)
to make or become sad.
Origin of sadden
First recorded in 1590-1600; sad + -en1
Related forms
saddeningly, adverb
unsaddened, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sadden
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It seemed to him monstrous that one should sadden one's life by such an excursion as this.

  • He must sadden the heart of this creature of joy that he might keep her body safe from peril.

    The Scapegoat Hall Caine
  • But in other moods, the phenomena of nature seemed to tranquillise and sadden him.

  • Why sadden the poor children, and damp their newly cherished hopes?

  • Do not sadden yourself because you cannot close behind you the gate of your senses.

    En Route

    J.-K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans
  • In spite of difficulties, their life has never been stern enough to sadden them.

    New Italian sketches John Addington Symonds
  • But, at any rate, there is always Leonora to cheer you up; I don't want to sadden you.

    The Good Soldier Ford Madox Ford
  • No, my mother, no; the only use of all these exaggerated precautions is to sadden life.

    The Conspirators Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
British Dictionary definitions for sadden


to make or become sad
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
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Word Origin and History for sadden

"to make sorrowful," 1620s, from sad + -en (1). Earlier verb was simply sade, from Old English sadian, which also could be the immediate source of the modern verb. Intransitive meaning "to become sad" is from 1718. Related: Saddened; saddening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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