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[sad-n] /ˈsæd n/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
to make or become sad.
Origin of sadden
1590-1600; sad + -en1
Related forms
saddeningly, adverb
unsaddened, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sadden
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He must sadden the heart of this creature of joy that he might keep her body safe from peril.

    The Scapegoat Hall Caine
  • It seemed to him monstrous that one should sadden one's life by such an excursion as this.

  • My heart would often sadden for him as I noticed his uncouth, nervous movements, his furtive glances and twitching features.

    The Mystery of Cloomber Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Why sadden the poor children, and damp their newly cherished hopes?

  • Then, seeing the tears in Fleur-de-Marie's eyes, the inspectress added, "But we must not sadden your departure thus."

  • In spite of difficulties, their life has never been stern enough to sadden them.

    New Italian sketches John Addington Symonds
  • Many causes combined to sadden and depress the king's heart, as he felt old age creeping upon him.

    Theodoric the Goth Thomas Hodgkin
  • No, my mother, no; the only use of all these exaggerated precautions is to sadden life.

    The Conspirators Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
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
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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
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