• synonyms


[mawrn, mohrn]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to feel or express sorrow or grief.
  2. to grieve or lament for the dead.
  3. to show the conventional or usual signs of sorrow over a person's death.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to feel or express sorrow or grief over (misfortune, loss, or anything regretted); deplore.
  2. to grieve or lament over (the dead).
  3. to utter in a sorrowful manner.
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Origin of mourn

before 900; Middle English mo(u)rnen, Old English murnan; cognate with Old High German mornēn, Old Norse morna, Gothic maurnan
Related formso·ver·mourn, verbun·mourned, adjective


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1. bewail, bemoan. See grieve.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for mourn

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Then the other birds of the greenwood came to mourn over their dead friend.

  • She had left behind her something which was very fine and beautiful; but she could not mourn.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • You know it is a capital crime, to mourn for, or sympathise with, a victim of the Guillotine.

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens

  • Even to this day they mourn for him and tremble at the least breeze from heaven.

    Classic Myths

    Mary Catherine Judd

  • The Sermon on the Mount promises the kingdom to the poor and them that mourn.

British Dictionary definitions for mourn


  1. to feel or express sadness for the death or loss of (someone or something)
  2. (intr) to observe the customs of mourning, as by wearing black
  3. (tr) to grieve over (loss or misfortune)
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Word Origin

Old English murnan; compare Old High German mornēn to be troubled, Gothic maurnan to grieve, Greek mermeros worried
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 mourn


Old English murnan "to mourn, bemoan, long after," also "be anxious about, be careful" (class III strong verb; past tense mearn, past participle murnen), from Proto-Germanic *murnan "to remember sorrowfully" (cf. Old Saxon mornon, Old High German mornen, Gothic maurnan "to mourn," Old Norse morna "to pine away"), probably from PIE root *(s)mer- "to remember" (see memory); or, if the Old Norse sense is the base one, from *mer- "to die, wither." Related: Mourned; mourning.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper