[ sat-er-nahyn ]
/ ˈsæt ərˌnaɪn /


sluggish in temperament; gloomy; taciturn.
suffering from lead poisoning, as a person.
due to absorption of lead, as bodily disorders.

Origin of saturnine

1400–50; late Middle English < Medieval Latin sāturnīnus (see Saturn, -ine1)

Related forms

sat·ur·nine·ly, adverbsat·ur·nine·ness, sat·ur·nin·i·ty [sat-er-nin-i-tee] /ˌsæt ərˈnɪn ɪ ti/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for saturnine

British Dictionary definitions for saturnine


/ (ˈsætəˌnaɪn) /


having a gloomy temperament; taciturn
  1. of or relating to lead
  2. having or symptomatic of lead poisoning

Derived Forms

saturninely, adverbsaturninity (ˌsætəˈnɪnɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin for saturnine

C15: from French saturnin, from Medieval Latin sāturnīnus (unattested), from Latin Sāturnus Saturn, with reference to the gloomy influence attributed to the planet Saturn
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

Medicine definitions for saturnine


[ sătər-nīn′ ]


Melancholy or sullen.
Produced by absorption of lead.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.