Definition of sorrow in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈsɒrəʊ/


[mass noun]
1A feeling of deep distress caused by loss, disappointment, or other misfortune suffered by oneself or others: a bereaved person needs time to work through their sorrow
More example sentences
  • With deep sorrow for those who suffered and died, I must say that his momentous decision, which hastened the end of that awful war, was justified.
  • Although they were getting along and all appeared to be going well on the outside he knew that he was masking his deep sorrow and loss through his music.
  • Pain, anger, suffering, sorrow, loss, death, distraught, fear; all of those were brought on by war.
sadness, unhappiness, dejection, regret, depression, misery, cheerlessness, downheartedness, despondency, despair, desolation, wretchedness, glumness, gloom, gloominess, heaviness of heart, dolefulness, melancholy, low spirits, mournfulness, woe, broken-heartedness, heartache, grief
informal down
literary dolorous
rare disconsolateness, disconsolation, dismalness
1.1 [count noun] An event or circumstance that causes sorrow: it was a great sorrow to her when they separated
More example sentences
  • He shares our joys and sorrows, and when events like the tsunami challenge our Christian faith, it actually deepens our belief in Him.
  • This book, besides being dramatic history, is a moving chronicle of the sorrows and torments of the persecuted.
  • Who knows what sorrows Abhinav's cheerful countenance concealed?
trouble, difficulty, problem, adversity, misery, woe, affliction, trial, tribulation, misfortune, reverse of fortune, misadventure, mishap, stroke of bad luck, setback, reverse, blow, failure, accident, disaster, tragedy, catastrophe, calamity
1.2The outward expression of grief; lamentation.
Example sentences
  • What heart without evaporating in sighs can ponder the burden of deepest sorrows and lamentations of parents, children, husbands, wives, kinsmen, friends.


[no object]
Feel or display deep distress: (as adjective sorrowing) the sorrowing widower found it hard to relate to his sons
More example sentences
  • Toiling, rejoicing, sorrowing onward through life we go.
  • Hill's tribute for his 70th birthday, a sequence of 120 stanzas, offers many more, puzzling voices - impatient, sorrowing, joking, gentle.
  • After spending some time about the pool where it was believed Demeter had once sat sorrowing for her daughter, those seeking full initiation then entered the inner courtyard.
be sad, feel sad, be miserable, be despondent, despair, suffer, ache, agonize, anguish, be wretched, be dejected, be heavy of heart, pine, weep, shed tears, grieve, mourn, lament, wail


Old English sorh, sorg (noun), sorgian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zorg and German Sorge.

Words that rhyme with sorrow

borrow, Corot, morrow, tomorrow

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sor¦row

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.