A Word A Day : Lugubrious

Saturday, 1st September 2007 : Today's Word is ...


( Adjective )

Pronunciation : lu-gu-bree-yes

1. Excessively mournful.

2. Terribly gloomy.

3. Exaggeratedly depressed or depressive.

NOTE : This Good Word sounds so mournful that it approaches the state of onomatopoeia. Since the second [u] is accented, you may elongate it as long as befits the occasion. This word resonates sympathetically with the name of the ever lugubrious horror film actor of the 30s, Bela Lugosi, though the two words are unrelated. Lugosi's name was taken from the Lugos River near his birthplace in Hungary.


This comes from Latin lugubris mournful sad, derived from the verb, lugere to mourn. The ultimate root was Proto-Indo-European leug- break, also the source of Greek lugros sore, mournful and Albanian lungë a sore, an ulcer. In German the stem devolved into Lücke breach and Loch hole. In Sanskrit, where l regularly became r, roga meant both breaking and illness. This suggests a semantic connection between being physically broken and illness and the sadness brought on by illness. We are not the least lugubrious over the fact that Riutaro Aida suggested today's word.


1. Doleful

2. Dolorous

3. Mournful

4. Plaintive

5. Rueful

6. Sad

7. Sorrowful

8. Woebegone

9. Woeful

10. Unhappy


1. Happy

2. Enjoyful

Contextual Example:

• Presently a dog set up a long, lugubrious howl just outside -- within ten feet of them.

• Robby's face is so lugubrious that it is no wonder I have bad dreams.

Related Words:

Lugubriously : Adverb

Lugubriousness : Noun

Enjoy this list and then get around for preparing your own list of words. There is no better way of boosting your words power. The most effective way to build your vocabulary is described in the page on Word Power. Educational research has discovered that your I.Q. is intimately related to your Word Power. Take a standard Vocabulary test and then an intelligent test, the result in both will be substantially the same. The more extensive your vocabulary, the better your chances of success, other things being equal- success in attaining your educational goals, success in moving ahead in your business or professional career, success in achieving your intellectual potential.

Previous Word| Next Word

Go to The A Word A Day Index

Synonyms and Antonyms

Vocabulary| English Teacher| Etymology| Longest Word | Letter Writing

Proverbs| Misspelled Words| Contractions

From Lugubrious to HOME PAGE