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[sor-uh-fuh l, sawr-] /ˈsɒr ə fəl, ˈsɔr-/
full of or feeling sorrow; grieved; sad.
showing or expressing sorrow; mournful; plaintive:
a sorrowful song.
involving or causing sorrow; distressing:
a sorrowful event.
Origin of sorrowful
before 900; Middle English sorowful, Old English sorgful. See sorrow, -ful
Related forms
sorrowfully, adverb
sorrowfulness, noun
oversorrowful, adjective
oversorrowfully, adverb
oversorrowfulness, noun
1. unhappy, grieving. 2. melancholy. 3. piteous, heartbreaking. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sorrowful
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The meeting between the two friends was as joyful as their parting had been sorrowful.

    Life in London Edwin Hodder
  • But, while he was in this sorrowful mood, he heard a voice close beside him.

    The Gorgon's Head Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Never never had he forgotten his father's sorrowful and upbraiding look.

    Biographical Stories Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • His listening attitude had a sort of angular and sorrowful grace.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • And Caleb plodded up the stairs after her with his head down, amazed and sorrowful.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • Before it had been grave and stern and bitter; now it was sorrowful instead.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • As she and I were great friends, she confided to me her observations and her sorrowful disdain.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • He was a good stout knight, but sorrowful of face and downcast of mien.

Word Origin and History for sorrowful

Old English sorgful "sad, anxious, careful; distressing, doleful;" see sorrow (n.) + -ful. Related: Sorrowfully; sorowfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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