Word of the Day

Sunday, December 19, 2004


\dis-KON-suh-lut\ , adjective;
Being beyond consolation; deeply dejected and dispirited; hopelessly sad; filled with grief; as, "a bereaved and disconsolate parent."
Inspiring dejection; saddening; cheerless; as, "the disconsolate darkness of the winter nights."
Midway through the course he came to the table with the disconsolate expression of a basketball coach whose team had just been trounced.
-- Bryan Miller, "Odd Couples Can Make Magic", New York Times, March 2, 1994
An eighteenth-century Fairfax, Thomas, lost the last of the land in the South Sea Bubble and the Fairfaxes were all but forgotten -- except for Lady Mary who was occasionally sighted, dressed all in green, disconsolate and gloomy, and occasionally with her head under her arm for good effect.
-- Kate Atkinson, Human Croquet
. . .King Midas, whose lips turn all they touch to cold, unnourishing riches, and who perishes alone and disconsolate, cut off by his wealth from the simplest necessities of life -- for bread, water, as well as his wife, his child and his little dog, all turn as he stretches towards them into the gold he thought he desired more than anything else.
-- Jane Shilling, "A golden ambivalence", Times (London), June 2, 2000
Disconsolate comes from Medieval Latin disconsolatus, from Latin dis- + consolatus, past participle of consolari, "to console," from com-, intensive prefix + solari, "to comfort, to soothe, to relieve."
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