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[sor-uh-fuh l, sawr-] /ˈsɒr ə fəl, ˈsɔr-/
full of or feeling sorrow; grieved; sad.
showing or expressing sorrow; mournful; plaintive:
a sorrowful song.
involving or causing sorrow; distressing:
a sorrowful event.
Origin of sorrowful
before 900; Middle English sorowful, Old English sorgful. See sorrow, -ful
Related forms
sorrowfully, adverb
sorrowfulness, noun
oversorrowful, adjective
oversorrowfully, adverb
oversorrowfulness, noun
1. unhappy, grieving. 2. melancholy. 3. piteous, heartbreaking. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sorrowful
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And over the girl's handsome, resolute face there swept an expression of pain and anguish that was sorrowful to see.

    True Stories of Girl Heroines Evelyn Everett-Green
  • The meeting between the two friends was as joyful as their parting had been sorrowful.

    Life in London Edwin Hodder
  • "This is a funny world," said Billie with a long, sorrowful sigh.

    Uncle Wiggily in the Woods Howard R. Garis
  • His listening attitude had a sort of angular and sorrowful grace.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • The vision of her delicately modeled chin and the sorrowful droop in the line of her lips never left him.

    They of the High Trails Hamlin Garland
  • And Caleb plodded up the stairs after her with his head down, amazed and sorrowful.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • And there he found a sorrowful widow wringing her hands and weeping miserably, sitting by a new-made grave.

  • Before it had been grave and stern and bitter; now it was sorrowful instead.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
Word Origin and History for sorrowful

Old English sorgful "sad, anxious, careful; distressing, doleful;" see sorrow (n.) + -ful. Related: Sorrowfully; sorowfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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