lugubrious

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day

Sep 9 2012 • 2 mins

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 9, 2012 is: lugubrious • \loo-GOO-bree-us\  • adjective 1 : mournful; especially : exaggeratedly or affectedly mournful 2 : dismal Examples: Katie's friends guessed immediately from her lugubrious expression that she and her boyfriend had broken up. "Then beneath that lugubrious lament comes a kind of gentle chugging rhythm, like the clickety-clack of a train, against which Sweeney thumbs his nose at the sentimentality established at the start of the song." - From a review by Steven Leigh Morris in LA Weekly, June 14, 2012 Did you know? "It is a consolation to the wretched to have companions in misery," wrote Publilius Syrus in the first century BC. Perhaps this explains why "lugubrious" is so woeful-it's all alone. Sure, we can dress up "lugubrious" with suffixes to form "lugubriously" or "lugubriousness," but the word remains essentially an only child-the sole surviving English offspring of its Latin ancestors. This wasn't always the case, though. "Lugubrious" once had a linguistic living relative in "luctual," an adjective meaning "sad" or "sorrowful." Like "lugubrious," "luctual" traced ultimately to the Latin verb "lugēre," meaning "to mourn." "Luctual," however, faded into obsolescence long ago, leaving "lugubrious" to carry on the family's mournful mission all alone. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

You Might Like

Word Matters
Word Matters
Merriam-Webster, New England Public Media
HBO Max Movie Club
HBO Max Movie Club
HBO Max and iHeartPodcasts
Cambridge Advanced Speaking
Cambridge Advanced Speaking
Get Ready For Success with Kristian
Kwik Brain with Jim Kwik
Kwik Brain with Jim Kwik
Jim Kwik, Your Brain Coach, Founder www.KwikLearning.com
The Book Review
The Book Review
The New York Times
1A
1A
NPR
The Atlas Obscura Podcast
The Atlas Obscura Podcast
Witness Docs & Atlas Obscura