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[sad] /sæd/
adjective, sadder, saddest.
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
before 1000; Middle English; Old English sæd grave, heavy, weary, orig. sated, full; cognate with German satt, Gothic saths full, satisfied; akin to Latin satis enough, satur sated, Greek hádēn enough. See satiate, saturate
Related forms
sadly, adverb
sadness, noun
1. unhappy, despondent, disconsolate, discouraged, gloomy, downcast, downhearted, depressed, dejected, melancholy.
1. happy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sadly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "You're looking for your Bobby, and I'm searching for my daddy," said Puss, sadly.

  • "I have only my fiddle in the world, and I cannot give that away," he said sadly, after thinking a while.

    Rico and Wiseli Johanna Spyri
  • “It is indeed a kind of execution, for this is to be my good-by,” he said sadly.

    Joscelyn Cheshire Sara Beaumont Kennedy
  • They both stood side by side, looking at her earnestly and sadly.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • "That's more than I can say of myself," said the Cloth Dog sadly.

    The Story of a China Cat Laura Lee Hope
British Dictionary definitions for sadly


adjective sadder, saddest
feeling sorrow; unhappy
causing, suggestive, or expressive of such feelings: a sad story
unfortunate; unsatisfactory; shabby; deplorable: her clothes were in a sad state
(Brit, informal) ludicrously contemptible; pathetic: he'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
Derived Forms
sadly, adverb
sadness, noun
Word Origin
Old English sæd weary; related to Old Norse sathr, Gothic saths, Latin satur, satis enough


seasonal affective disorder
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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Contemporary definitions for sadly's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for sadly

c.1300, "heavily," also "solidly," from sad + -ly (2). Meaning "sorrowfully" is mid-14c.



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sadly in Medicine

SAD abbr.
seasonal affective disorder

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for sadly



Inferior; botched or bungled; crummy: It's a sad dump/ What a sad-ass town (first form 1899+, second 1971+ third 1974+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for sadly


seasonal affective disorder
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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