Definition of saturnine in English:

saturnine

Syllabification: sat·ur·nine
Pronunciation: /ˈsatərˌnīn
 
/

adjective

1(Of a person or their manner) slow and gloomy: a saturnine temperament
More example sentences
  • Perrault's ‘Bluebeard’ is the story of a rich, middle-aged gentleman, named for his swarthy chin and saturnine manner, who marries a young woman.
  • A brusque, saturnine figure, Wilbur has attempted suicide by every possible means but has yet to succeed.
  • Then she simply stays in bed all the following day, drinking tea, eating chocolates and reading about strong-jawed, saturnine heroes and almond-eyed heiresses disguised as pageboys.
Synonyms
gloomy, somber, melancholy, moody, lugubrious, dour, glum, morose, unsmiling, humorless
1.1(Of a person or their features) dark in coloring and moody or mysterious: his saturnine face and dark, watchful eyes
More example sentences
  • The smile has returned to Craig's saturnine features.
  • Dark and saturnine, he is a strong screen presence with natural brooding ability, and he holds things steady when a last-ditch attempt to end on a thrill causes the film to falter.
  • He was a bright boy from Yorkshire with a dark and saturnine look and laconic manner, and he was already writing strong verse.
Synonyms
swarthy, dark, dark-skinned, dark-complexioned; mysterious, mercurial, moody, brooding
1.2(Of a place or an occasion) gloomy.

Origin

late Middle English (as a term in astrology): from Old French saturnin, from medieval Latin Saturninus 'of Saturn' (identified with lead by the alchemists and associated with slowness and gloom by astrologers).

Derivatives

saturninely

adverb

Definition of saturnine in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day envenom
Pronunciation: ɪnˈvɛnəm
verb
put poison on or into; make poisonous