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These adjectives mean affected with or marked by unhappiness, as that caused by affliction. Sad is the most general: "Better by far you should forget and smile / Than that you should remember and be sad" (Christina Rossetti).
Melancholy can refer to lingering or habitual somberness or sadness: a melancholy poet's gloomy introspection. Sorrowful applies to emotional pain as that resulting from loss: sorrowful mourners at the funeral. Doleful describes what is mournful or morose: the doleful expression of a reprimanded child. Woebegone suggests grief or wretchedness, especially as reflected in a person's appearance: "His sorrow ... made him look ... haggard and ... woebegone" (George du Maurier).
Desolate applies to one that is beyond consolation: "Now she was desolate, a widow in a foreign country" (Nigel Hamilton).
- As full of sorrow as the sea of sands —William Shakespeare
- Could feel it [the sadness] pierce him like a foreign body in his heart —Amos Oz
- Crest-fallen as a dried pear —William Shakespeare
- Crest-fallen as a spy who had been caught by a thief —Victor Hugo
- Depressing as the last day of fishing —Robert Traver
- A feeling of sadness that is not akin to pain, resembles sorrow only as the mist resembles rain —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- (Scarlett) felt bereft, as though she had sold one of her children —Margaret Mitchell
The sadness which inspired the comparison was that experienced by the heroine of Gone With the Wind when she sold her lumber business.
- Felt melancholy grip him, like a pain in the heart —Mary McCarthy
- (I felt depressed,) filled to the neck with sadness like a carafe with bad wine —T. Coraghessan Boyle
- His heart throbbed like a bruise in the sigh —Norman Mailer
- His heart would sink down to his bowels like lead —Thomas Wolfe
- Looked and acted like a man who had just driven home from a couple of heart-rending funerals —George Ade
See Also: FACIAL EXPRESSIONS, SERIOUS
- Melancholy as a discarded statesman —William Mountford
- Melancholy as a fiddle with one string —Thomas Holcroft
- My heart is within me as an ash in the fire —Algernon Charles Swinburne
- My heart was as lead —Jack London
- Pathetic as all final efforts —Alice McDermott
- Pathetic as an autumn leaf —George Moore
- (A low call,) plaintive as a shepherd calling, to sheep who need no strident invocation —Arthur A. Cohen
- Sad as an eagle without wings, sad as a violin with only one string —Jean Rhys
- Sad as night —William Shakespeare
- Sad as professional mourners —F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Sad as twilight —George Eliot
- Saddening as a forest fire —Robert Traver
- Sad like graveyards —Terry Bisson
- Sad … like somebody who’s pilot light got blown out a long time ago —Susan Kelly
- Sadness … gnawed like a rat at his mind —Roderic Jeffries
- Sadness, like that inspired by a grave strain of music —Joseph Conrad
- Sadness that, over the years, had gathered in his chest like matter in a clogged drain —Joyce Reiser Kornblatt
- There would come, like water washing over a sunken buoy, the little knell of sadness —Hortense Calisher
Just as similes are used to give dramatic beginning to literary works, they can also be used to wind things up, as demonstrated by this final sentence from Calisher’s novel, Point of Departure.
|Noun||1.||sadness - emotions experienced when not in a state of well-being|
feeling - the experiencing of affective and emotional states; "she had a feeling of euphoria"; "he had terrible feelings of guilt"; "I disliked him and the feeling was mutual"
dolefulness - sadness caused by grief or affliction
heaviness - persisting sadness; "nothing lifted the heaviness of her heart after her loss"
melancholy - a feeling of thoughtful sadness
misery - a feeling of intense unhappiness; "she was exhausted by her misery and grief"
sorrow - an emotion of great sadness associated with loss or bereavement; "he tried to express his sorrow at her loss"
regret, ruefulness, sorrow, rue - sadness associated with some wrong done or some disappointment; "he drank to drown his sorrows"; "he wrote a note expressing his regret"; "to his rue, the error cost him the game"
depression - sad feelings of gloom and inadequacy
dejectedness, dispiritedness, downheartedness, low-spiritedness, lowness - a feeling of low spirits; "he felt responsible for her lowness of spirits"
happiness - emotions experienced when in a state of well-being
|2.||sadness - the state of being sad; "she tired of his perpetual sadness"|
unhappiness - state characterized by emotions ranging from mild discontentment to deep grief
|3.||sadness - the quality of excessive mournfulness and uncheerfulness|
uncheerfulness - not conducive to cheer or good spirits
happiness, delight, pleasure, joy, cheer, satisfaction, ecstasy, enjoyment, bliss, felicity, exuberance, contentment, wellbeing, high spirits, elation, gaiety, jubilation, merriment, cheerfulness, gladness, cheeriness, light-heartedness