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See also: Sorrow


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English sorow, sorwe, sorghe, sorȝe, from Old English sorg, sorh (care, anxiety, sorrow, grief), from Proto-West Germanic *sorgu, from Proto-Germanic *surgō (compare West Frisian soarch, Dutch zorg, German Sorge, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian sorg), from Proto-Indo-European *swergʰ- (watch over, worry; be ill, suffer) (compare Old Irish serg (sickness), Tocharian B sark (sickness), Lithuanian sirgti (be sick), Sanskrit सूर्क्षति (sū́rkṣati, worry). Despite the similarity in form and meaning, not historically related to sorry and sore.



sorrow (countable and uncountable, plural sorrows)

  1. (uncountable) unhappiness, woe
  2. (countable) (usually in plural) An instance or cause of unhappiness.
    • 1903, Maud Salvini, “Salvini as I Know Him”, in The Theatre, number 3, page 312:
      She had nursed all the children, including Sandro, to whom she was devoted, and my husband was just as fond of her. His going away to America was a great sorrow to her, and she always kept the sacred light burning on a little altar for Sandro all the time of his long absence.
    • 1963, C.L.R. James, The Black Jacobins, 2nd Revised edition, page 14:
      Vaublanc, in San Domingo so sympathetic to the sorrows of labour in France, had to fly from Paris in August, 1792, to escape the wrath of the French workers.
    Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Derived terms[edit]



sorrow (third-person singular simple present sorrows, present participle sorrowing, simple past and past participle sorrowed)

  1. (intransitive) To feel or express grief.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Folio Society, published 1973, page 424:
      Sorrow not, sir,’ says he, ‘like those without hope.’
  2. (transitive) To feel grief over; to mourn, regret.

Derived terms[edit]