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Borrowed from Latin lūgubris (mournful; gloomy), with the suffix -ious.


  • IPA(key): /ləˈɡ(j)uːbɹi.əs/
  • (file)


lugubrious (comparative more lugubrious, superlative most lugubrious)

  1. Gloomy, mournful or dismal, especially to an exaggerated degree.
    The poor lighting and sparse maintenance, plus the rarefied traffic on its wide boulevards, made the effect of Pyongyang on the tourist distinctly lugubrious.
    His client's lugubrious expression tipped off the detective that something lurked beneath her optimistic words.
    • 1986, John le Carré, A Perfect Spy:
      The congregation was "spellbound unto the Meekest of its Members," and none more so than Rick himself, who sits in an enraptured trance, nodding his broad head to the cadences of Makepeace's rhetoric, even though every Welsh note of it — to the excited ears and eyes of those around him — is hurled at Rick personally down the length of the aisle, and rammed home with a botched stab of the lugubrious Watermaster forefinger.

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