sadness


sadness
sadness, depression, melancholy, melancholia, dejection, gloom, blues, dumps are comparable when they mean a state of mind when one is unhappy or low-spirited or an attack of low spirits.
Sadness is the general term; apart from the context it carries no explicit suggestions of the cause of the low spirits or of the extent to which one is deprived of cheerfulness
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a feeling of sadness and longing that is not akin to pain— Longfellow

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we feel his underlying sadness . . . but Rome may have felt more strongly than we do his hopefulness and pride— Buchan

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the leafless trees left her with unearned sadness. She mourned the long age before spring and feared loneliness in winter— Malamud

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Depression applies chiefly to a mood in which one feels let down, discouraged, and devoid of vigor or to a state of mind, usually outwardly manifested by brooding, in which one is listless, despondent, or sullen; the term usually implies a precipitating or predisposing cause which may be external but is as often inherent in the nature of the affected individual
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as for his look, it was a natural cheerfulness, striving against depression from without, and not quite succeeding— Hardy

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Tina's love was a stormy affair, with continual ups and downs of rapture and depressionWharton

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a defeat would bring me closer to a general depression, a fog bank of dissatisfaction with myself— Mailer

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Melancholy often applies to a not unpleasant or displeasing mood or a mental state characterized by sadness, pensiveness, and deep but not depressing or heavy seriousness
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lend our hearts and spirits wholly to the influence of mild-minded melancholyTennyson

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the lively, curious mind, the wit, the gaiety of spirit tinged with a tender melancholyHudson

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fate did not bring her dreamed-of-love. Instead, it gave her cause for melancholy, disappointment, and disillusionment— Farrell

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in spite of her civic zeal, she had a taste for melancholy—for the smell of orange rinds and wood smoke— Cheever

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Melancholia may denote a disordered mental state characterized by a settled deep depression
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the excited phase is called mania and its counterpart is known as melancholia .... The latter phase is marked by mournful and self-accusatory ideas and a countenance disfigured by despair— Ellery

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Dejection suggests especially the mood of one who is downcast, discouraged, or dispirited; the term differs from depression chiefly in its suggestion of an external cause and in its more frequent application to a mood than to a prolonged state of mind
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it was the last of the regiment's stay in Meryton, and all the young ladies in the neighborhood were drooping apace. The dejection was almost universal— Austen

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full of the dejection of a nice child whose toy has been snatched from its hand— Tracy

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Gloom applies either to the effect produced by melancholy, depression, dejection, or extreme sadness on the person afflicted or to the atmosphere which a person of low spirits or a depressing event creates; the term carries a suggestion of darkness and dullness and it further connotes lack of all that enlivens or cheers
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the leaden gloom of one who has lost all that can make life interesting, or even tolerable— Hardy

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the idea that I am being studied fills me, after the first outburst of laughter, with a deepening gloomHuxley

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Blues and dumps are familiar, expressive terms for an attack of low spirits.
Blues may suggest an acute attack of depression or melancholy which afflicts one almost as if an illness
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a fit of the blues

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I believe that the attack of intense blues which caught me in that moment would have taken weeks to shake off— Ingamells

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while dumps, usually in the phrase in the dumps, is more likely to suggest a deep sullen persistent dejection of spirits
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doleful dumps the mind oppress— Shak.

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where someone else would have been in the dolefullest dumps . . . this young fellow took it out in joking— Overstreet

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Analogous words: *sorrow, grief, anguish, woe: despondency, despair, hopelessness, forlornness (see under DESPONDENT)
Antonyms: gladness

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

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