• synonyms


[sor-uh-fuh l, sawr-]
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  1. full of or feeling sorrow; grieved; sad.
  2. showing or expressing sorrow; mournful; plaintive: a sorrowful song.
  3. involving or causing sorrow; distressing: a sorrowful event.
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Origin of sorrowful

before 900; Middle English sorowful, Old English sorgful. See sorrow, -ful
Related formssor·row·ful·ly, adverbsor·row·ful·ness, nouno·ver·sor·row·ful, adjectiveo·ver·sor·row·ful·ly, adverbo·ver·sor·row·ful·ness, noun


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1. unhappy, grieving. 2. melancholy. 3. piteous, heartbreaking.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sorrowfully

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "I shall not know when morning comes," said he, sorrowfully.

    Biographical Stories

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • "Do you know, if I disappeared tonight, there's not a soul—" said Jenny, sorrowfully.

  • The lad came forward into the light, and eyed Sir Crispin sorrowfully.

    The Tavern Knight

    Rafael Sabatini

  • He said his fish-hook had lost its charm and sorrowfully he took it away with him in his canoe.

    Legends of Wailuku

    Charlotte Hapai

  • "Ah, you say you do, yet you refuse to do as I wish you," sorrowfully replied the siren.

    Victor's Triumph

    Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

Word Origin and History for sorrowfully



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper