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Definition expressing or causing sadness
  • It was another year of a doleful Detroit economy.
doleful = very sad; or causing sadness or misfortune
  • Her doleful story of ruin did not sound so sad to those who had never had anything.
  • The bell continued to swing, strike, and vibrate, with the same doleful regularity as when a corpse is on its way to the tomb.
    Hawthorne, Nathaniel  --  From Twice Told Tales
  • [among the tombs] I regarded those marble tablets, and by the murky light of that darkened, doleful day read the fate of the whalemen who had gone before me.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • Who chants a doleful hymn to his own death,
    Shakespeare, William  --  King John
  • You sound as doleful as a funeral...
    C.S. Lewis  --  The Silver Chair
  • doleful = sad
  • his mind began dolefully telling him that he was on a wild goose chase.
    Stephen King  --  Cujo
  • dolefully = full of sadness
  • Your father, Mr. David, was a kind gentleman; but he was weak, dolefully weak;
    Robert Louis Stevenson  --  Kidnapped
  • dolefully = sadly (in a manner that is full of sadness)
  • But the driver was shaking his head dolefully.
    Stephen King  --  The Shining
  • dolefully = in a manner that was full of sadness
  • The common people regarded it with a mixture of respect and superstition ... partly from the tales of strange sights, and doleful lamentations,
    Washington Irving  --  The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • doleful = sad
  • (Dolefully.) I suppose we'll have to go to sleep.
    Tom Stoppard  --  Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
  • dolefully = full of sadness
  • "Life," said Marvin dolefully, "loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it."
    Douglas Adams  --  The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • dolefully = sadly
  • And I thought it was a ditty rather too dolefully appropriate for a company that had met such cruel losses in the morning.
    Robert Louis Stevenson  --  Treasure Island
  • dolefully = full of sadness
  • Each held a large earthenware jar, containing pebbles, and jerked it up and down in time to a doleful chant.
    E.M. Forster  --  A Passage to India
  • doleful = expressing sadness
  • I love a ballad but even too well, if it be doleful matter merrily set down, or a very pleasant thing indeed and sung lamentably.
    William Shakespeare  --  The Winter's Tale
  • doleful = full of sadness
  • He has been very silent and doleful of late.
    Charles Dickens  --  Hard Times
  • doleful = full of sadness
  • From somewhere, a skinny, mangy brown dog appeared dolefully and joined the kid.
    Marcus Luttrell  --  Lone Survivor
  • dolefully = full of sadness
  • She would stay in bed, wearing an old winter coat over her pajamas, a weary, doleful, unsmiling presence in the apartment.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  And The Mountains Echoed
  • doleful = full of sadness
  • "I'll try to be a model pupil," agreed Anne dolefully.
    Lucy Maud Montgomery  --  Anne Of Green Gables
  • dolefully = full of sorrow
  • ...the old man armed for war to take his soldiers forward, undeterred by doleful age.
    Homer  --  The Iliad
doleful = causing sadness

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