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From Middle English saturnyne, borrowed from Old French saturnin, from Latin Sāturnīnus, from Sāturnus + -īnus. Surface analysis Saturn +‎ -ine.



saturnine (comparative more saturnine, superlative most saturnine)

  1. (archaic) Of or born under Saturn's influence.
  2. (archaic) Containing lead, or suffering from lead poisoning (saturnia).
  3. Of a person, having a tendency to be gloomy, bitter, and sarcastic.
    Synonyms: bitter, gloomy, sardonic; see also Thesaurus:cheerless
    Antonym: jovial
    • 1793, John Whitehead, The life of the Rev. John Wesley, M.A, page 550
      "But Dr. Johnson would certainly not have expressed himself in this strong language of approbation, had Mr. Wesley been that dark, saturnine creature, represented by Archbishop Herring."
    • 1866, Charles Dickens, The Signal-Man
      "The monstrous thought came into my mind as I perused the fixed eyes and the saturnine face, that this was a spirit, not a man."
  4. Of a setting, gloomy or dull.
    Synonyms: gloomy, depressing, dull
    • 1770, Nicholas Culpeper, The English physician enlarged., page 167
      "But Henbane delights most to grow in Saturnine Places, and whole Cart-Loads of it may be found near the Places where they empty the common Jacks, and scarce a Ditch can be found without it growing by it. Ergo, it is an Herb of Saturn."
    • 1997, David Foster Wallace, “A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again”, in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, Kindle edition, Little, Brown Book Group:
      This saturnine line of thinking proceeds as the clouds overhead start to coalesce and the sky takes on its regular clothy P.M. weight.
    • 2019 January 28, Tom Dart, “US soccer's Gregg Berhalter era starts with a win and the echo of empty seats”, in The Guardian[1]:
      It is not easy to kick off a new era with the requisite upbeat mood when the saturnine sight of a near-vacant arena evokes the apathy caused by past disappointments.
  5. Of one's mood, cold and slow to change and react.

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  1. feminine singular of saturnin



saturnine f pl

  1. feminine plural of saturnino