Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[dohl-fuh l] /ˈdoʊl fəl/
sorrowful; mournful; melancholy:
a doleful look on her face.
Origin of doleful
1225-75; Middle English dol-ful. See dole2, -ful
Related forms
dolefully, adverb
dolefulness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for dolefully
Historical Examples
  • After a long silence Dickey dolefully asked: "Say, do you believe the Saxondales turned me down on that shooting box party?"

    Castle Craneycrow George Barr McCutcheon
  • "It's worse than the Professor's fit last year," she said dolefully.

    The Green Carnation Robert Smythe Hichens
  • "Poor Dimitri," she said, dolefully, after her husband had recounted the events of the day.

    Rabbi and Priest Milton Goldsmith
  • "It's all very well for you to be pleased, Lolla," I said dolefully.

  • "It has turned out a deal worse job than I expected," dolefully observed the steward.

  • The culprit was hauled, incontinently, dolefully wailing, to bed.

    Mountain Blood Joseph Hergesheimer
  • dolefully, with hanging head and downcast eyes, I made the dread announcement.

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
  • “That is about what I will do next,” said Elizabeth dolefully.

  • "Look at me," she said once when he had dolefully commented upon the possibility of change.

    The "Genius" Theodore Dreiser
  • "Oh, I'll be all right, thanks," responded the other dolefully.

    Left Guard Gilbert Ralph Henry Barbour
British Dictionary definitions for dolefully


dreary; mournful Archaic word dolesome (ˈdəʊlsəm)
Derived Forms
dolefully, adverb
dolefulness, noun
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for dolefully



late 13c., with -ful, from Middle English dole "grief" (early 13c.), from Old French doel (Modern French deuil), from Late Latin dolus "grief," from Latin dolere "suffer, grieve." Related: Dolefully.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for doleful

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for dolefully

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for dolefully