[mawr-ning, mohr-]


the act of a person who mourns; sorrowing or lamentation.
the conventional manifestation of sorrow for a person's death, especially by the wearing of black clothes or a black armband, the hanging of flags at half-mast, etc.
the outward symbols of such sorrow, as black garments.
the period or interval during which a person grieves or formally expresses grief, as by wearing black garments.


of, relating to, or used in mourning.

Origin of mourning

before 900; Middle English (noun, adj.); Old English murnung (noun). See mourn, -ing1, -ing2
Related formsmourn·ing·ly, adverbun·mourn·ing, adjective

Antonyms for mourning


[mawrn, mohrn]

verb (used without object)

to feel or express sorrow or grief.
to grieve or lament for the dead.
to show the conventional or usual signs of sorrow over a person's death.

verb (used with object)

to feel or express sorrow or grief over (misfortune, loss, or anything regretted); deplore.
to grieve or lament over (the dead).
to utter in a sorrowful manner.

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

Synonyms for mourn

1. bewail, bemoan. See grieve.

Antonyms for mourn Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mourning

Contemporary Examples of mourning

Historical Examples of mourning

  • "And you know we shall be in mourning," said Psyche to her brother.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Nellie had been frankly scandalized at the idea of mourning.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • Is their condition on earth eminently "the house of mourning?"

  • Then they marched home and their houses were filled with mourning.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

  • The household was filled with mourning, but it was too late.

    Old Greek Folk Stories Told Anew

    Josephine Preston Peabody

British Dictionary definitions for mourning



the act or feelings of one who mourns; grief
the conventional symbols of grief, such as the wearing of black
the period of time during which a death is officially mourned
in mourning observing the conventions of mourning


of or relating to mourning
Derived Formsmourningly, adverb



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

Word Origin for mourn

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 mourning

Old English murnung "complaint, grief," verbal noun from mourn (v.).



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper