There are 2 main definitions of sad in English:

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sad 1

Pronunciation: /sad/

adjective (sadder, saddest)

1Feeling or showing sorrow; unhappy: I was sad and subdued they looked at her with sad, anxious faces
More example sentences
  • Every time I felt unhappy and sad I just ate what I wanted and made myself sick.
  • The last twenty years of Plumb's life were increasingly sad, lonely and unhappy.
  • As I saw him off at the airport, I was at once proud of him, sad and anxious - he was my little brother.
1.1Causing or characterized by sorrow or regret; unfortunate and regrettable: he told her the sad story of his life a sad day for us all
More example sentences
  • I think it is a sad reflection on society that teenage girls can get pregnant.
  • It is a sad reflection on our societies that we have to escape from reality in these ways.
  • The woman who helped my mother was in a very sad situation, unfortunately not uncommon at the time.
tragic, unhappy, unfortunate, awful, miserable, wretched, sorry, pitiful, pathetic, traumatic, heartbreaking, heart-rending, harrowing
unfortunate, regrettable, sorry, deplorable, lamentable, pitiful, shameful, disgraceful
2 informal Pathetically inadequate or unfashionable: the show is tongue-in-cheek—anyone who takes it seriously is a bit sad
More example sentences
  • I now feel sad and inadequate that I don't have enough bookmarks to make filing and indexing them an issue.
  • Food shopping as I've said before is one of the highlights of my pathetically sad week.
  • Human nature and its failings are given a crude inspection, at times becoming a sad, pathetic spectacle.
3(Of dough) heavy through having failed to rise.


sad to say

Unfortunately, regrettably.
Example sentences
  • I'm sad to say that I regretted my decision to come the moment I stepped in.
  • I'm sad to say that my success as a basketball scientist was short-lived.
  • Yes, sad to say, but American hegemony puts more money in the hands of those who believe everything is fair in business and in war.



Example sentences
  • Ronnie pulled up one of the benches so he could sit in front of Roberto, a saddish expression upon his face.


Old English sæd 'sated, weary', also 'weighty, dense', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zat and German satt, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin satis 'enough'. The original meaning was replaced in Middle English by the senses 'steadfast, firm' and 'serious, sober', and later 'sorrowful'.

  • The original meaning of sad in Old English was ‘having no more appetite, weary’. The word comes from the same root as Latin satis ‘enough’, the source of satiated, satisfactory, and satisfy (all LME), and the idea was similar to our expression fed up (early 20th century)—of being unhappy through being too ‘full’ of something. The word then developed through ‘firm, constant’ and ‘dignified, sober’ to our modern sense of ‘unhappy’ in the medieval period. In the 1990s ‘You're so sad!’ became the refrain of every teenager in the land, often to their parents. This use, meaning ‘pathetically inadequate or unfashionable’, was not completely new, and had been around since the 1930s. See also melancholy

Words that rhyme with sad

ad, add, Allahabad, bad, Baghdad, bedad, begad, cad, Chad, clad, dad, egad, fad, forbade, gad, glad, grad, had, lad, mad, pad, plaid, rad, Riyadh, scad, shad, Strad, tad, trad

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sad

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There are 2 main definitions of sad in English:

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For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: SAD

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