Definition of saturnine in English:

saturnine

Line breaks: sat¦ur|nine
Pronunciation: /ˈsatənʌɪn
 
/

adjective

  • 1(Of a person or their manner) 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, sombre, melancholy, melancholic, moody, miserable, lugubrious, dour, glum, unsmiling, humourless, grumpy, bad-tempered; taciturn, uncommunicative, unresponsive
  • 1.1(Of a person or their features) dark in colouring 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
  • 2 archaic Relating to lead.

Derivatives

saturninely

adverb

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).

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