- affected by unhappiness or grief; sorrowful or mournful: to feel sad because a close friend has moved away.
- expressive of or characterized by sorrow: sad looks; a sad song.
- causing sorrow: a sad disappointment; sad news.
- (of color) somber, dark, or dull; drab.
- deplorably bad; sorry: a sad attempt.
- Obsolete. firm or steadfast.
Origin of sad
SynonymsSee more synonyms for sad on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for sadness
Lady Edith is so sad that her sadness nearly set the whole damned house on fire.‘Downton Abbey’ Review: A Fire, Some Sex, and Sad, Sad Edith
January 5, 2015
Mary Elizabeth Williams of Salon labels the show a “crass stunt” on a “bottom-feeding vortex of sadness network.”Your Husband Is Definitely Gay: TLC’s Painful Portrait of Mormonism
January 1, 2015
Whenever I look for a vein of sadness in Oliona it melts away.Russia’s Gold Digger Academy
November 11, 2014
His sadness over her descent into shooting up after managing to stay clean for a period is palpable.Janis Joplin’s Kozmic Blues
November 8, 2014
The film often floats back and forth between these moments of satire and sadness.‘Force Majeure’ and the Swedish Family Vacation From Hell
October 27, 2014
There is a sadness in her face, for it is only a year ago they lost their little one.Ballads of a Bohemian
Robert W. Service
His tone softened to one of sadness, and again he glanced toward Daisy.In the Valley
My dear, I laugh; but even in the midst of laughter there is sadness.Tales And Novels, Volume 3 (of 10)
He liked this eagerness on the part of his boys, and yet there was sadness in his smile, too.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
But still the sadness might not be that of love,—she had felt sad after Legard had gone.Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
- seasonal affective disorder
- feeling sorrow; unhappy
- causing, suggestive, or expressive of such feelingsa sad story
- unfortunate; unsatisfactory; shabby; deplorableher clothes were in a sad state
- British informal ludicrously contemptible; pathetiche's a sad, boring little wimp
- (of pastry, cakes, etc) not having risen fully; heavy
- (of a colour) lacking brightness; dull or dark
- archaic serious; grave
- NZ to express sadness or displeasure strongly
Word Origin and History for sadness
Old English sæd "sated, full, having had one's fill (of food, drink, fighting, etc.), weary of," from Proto-Germanic *sathaz (cf. Old Norse saðr, Middle Dutch sat, Dutch zad, Old High German sat, German satt, Gothic saþs "satiated, sated, full"), from PIE *seto- (cf. Latin satis "enough, sufficient," Greek hadros "thick, bulky," Old Church Slavonic sytu, Lithuanian sotus "satiated," Old Irish saith "satiety," sathach "sated"), from root *sa- "to satisfy" (cf. Sanskrit a-sinvan "insatiable").
Sense development passed through the meaning "heavy, ponderous" (i.e. "full" mentally or physically), and "weary, tired of" before emerging c.1300 as "unhappy." An alternative course would be through the common Middle English sense of "steadfast, firmly established, fixed" (e.g. sad-ware "tough pewter vessels") and "serious" to "grave." In the main modern sense, it replaced Old English unrot, negative of rot "cheerful, glad."
Meaning "very bad" is from 1690s. Slang sense of "inferior, pathetic" is from 1899; sad sack is 1920s, popularized by World War II armed forces (specifically by cartoon character invented by Sgt. George Baker, 1942, and published in U.S. Armed Forces magazine "Yank"), probably a euphemistic shortening of common military slang phrase sad sack of shit.
- seasonal affective disorder