Merriam Webster Word of the Day: Lachrymose

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The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is lachrymose. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

Lachrymose is used to describe someone who tends to cry often, or something that tends to cause people to cry.

// Her newest screenplay is a lachrymose drama exploring the effects of loss late in life.

// The more lachrymose mourners at the funeral required a steady supply of tissues.

LACHRYMOSE in Context

“In 1912, Edith Maida Lessing wrote the lyrics to a lachrymose ballad about the sinking of the Titanic.” — Patt Morrison, The Los Angeles Times, 14 June 2022

Did You Know?

The misty-eyed souls among us will appreciate lachrymose, a word that can describe a person who tends to cry often, or an emotional trigger that induces tears. Those more stoic in disposition might be moved (though not to tears) to learn that lachrymose also has a scientific counterpart: its older cousin lachrymal can mean “of, relating to, or marked by tears,” or (usually with the alternative spelling lacrimal) “of, relating to, or being glands that produce tears.” Both lachrymose and lachrymal come from the Latin noun lacrima, meaning “tear.”

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