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- Filled with grief, mournful, bringing feelings of sadness.
- The doleful peal of the bell indicated another funeral was being held.
- 1667, John Milton, “Book I”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554, lines 61–69:
- A dungeon horrible, on all sides round, / As one great furnace flamed; yet from those flames / No light; but rather darkness visible / Served only to discover sights of woe, / Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace / And rest can never dwell, hope never comes / That comes to all, but torture without end / Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed / With ever-burning sulphur unconsumed.
- 2020 April 18, Donald G. McNeil Jr., “The Coronavirus in America: The Year Ahead”, in New York Times:
- “We face a doleful future,” said Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg, a former president of the National Academy of Medicine.