verb (used with or without object)

to make or become sad.

Origin of sadden

First recorded in 1590–1600; sad + -en1
Related formssad·den·ing·ly, adverbun·sad·dened, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sadden

Contemporary Examples of sadden

Historical Examples of sadden

  • 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

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

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