Sad Tone Words (With Examples)

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A sad tone word is used by the writer to express their sad attitude towards a certain topic in a story by choosing the right words which can be used in a particular context.

Related: 200 Tone Words With Examples

Below is the list of words with a sad tone that can be used to reflect the sad mood of a writer for their preferred subject matter in a story that the writer thinks that it deserves a sad perspective.

General examples are also included with every sad tone word in the list to help you understand any tone words easily.

Related: Sad Feeling Words List

Tone Words For Sad (with Examples)-


1. Apologetic

Meaning: feeling sorry or showing regret for your action that caused trouble, inconvenience, or hurt someone.

Example- Jennifer was apologetic for not attending his brother’s wedding.

2. Bleak

Meaning: not hopeful; without hope or encouragement; depressing

Example– After the harsh arguments, their future together looked pretty bleak.

3. Depressing

Meaning: make you feel sad, unhappy, without hope, or inadequate

Example- Whatever happened at the meeting was depressing, but James had no options except keep looking for investors to support his futuristic idea.

4. Despairing

Meaning: feeling hopeless; resulting from despair; losing all confidence

Example- Adam’s despairing face was evident to his family when he came from his job’s interview.

5. Disheartening

Meaning: making one feel disappointed, less confident, less hopeful; discouraging, dispiriting

Example– The first hour of the football match was very disheartening for the while team when their caption got injured badly.

6. Disgruntled

Meaning: unhappy, dissatisfied.

Example- He was a bit disgruntled after joining his first job at his father’s company.

7. Dismal

Meaning: sad and without hope; something bad in a sad or depressing way

Example- His dismal expression at his speech was evident on his face.

9. Demoralizing

Meaning: causing you to lose confidence, hope, or enthusiasm; discouraging

Example- Her coach’s demoralizing remarks on her performance left her disheartened.

10. Dejection

Meaning: feeling sad and depressed with disappointment

Example- She stayed at her home the whole day in utter dejection.

11. Distress

Meaning: extreme sorrow, worry, suffering or pain

Example- After missing her beloved pet, her distress increased day by day until one day the good news came.

12. Gloomy

Meaning: hopeless, sad, depressing, melancholy; deeply or partially dark in appearance; causing gloom

Example- The weather suddenly got gloomy.

13. Grave

Meaning: very bad, serious, worrying, critical, important

Example- Elizabeth didn’t know that he had made a grave mistake by ignoring his father’s warnings about his hiking in the bears breeding season.

14. Hollow

Meaning: lacking real value, worth, or sincerity; pointless

Example- Mary was not interested in marrying her partner but yet she kept on deceiving him with her hollow promises just to use him for her own benefits.

15. Lament

Meaning: expressing sadness, regret, or grief

Example- Mr. Smith deeply lamented that he didn’t give much time to her wife which led to their divorce.

16. Lugubrious

Meaning: looking very sad and serious; mournful; dismal

Example- The lugubrious character in the novel finds peace when her daughter returns.

17. Melancholy

Meaning: an intense feeling of sadness often without any obvious reasons and lasting for a long time period; feel, express, or look sad; pensive, depressed

Example- The end to her melancholy only made possible by the continuous efforts of her friends.

18. Pathetic

Meaning: someone sad, weak or helpless; causing a feeling of pity, sorrow, or sympathy

Example- His whole family was living in a pathetic condition until he started his own company which soon turned into a profitable business.

19. Resentful

Meaning: feeling or showing bitterness or indignation at being mistreated

Example- Adam felt resentful in his math’s teacher class which lead him in not doing well in the subject.

20. Somber

Meaning: very serious, or sad; dark, dull, and gloomy

Example- The death of his pet was the reason for his somber mood all the time.

21. Solemn

Meaning: not cheerful; serious

Example– His so solemn way of talking with people every time made everyone disliking him.

22. Wretched

Meaning: in a miserable condition, unhappy, distressed, or depressed

Example- No politician took notice of the wretched life of the homeless people.

23. Woe

Meaning: expressing great sorrow, distress or grief

Example- She experienced such woe when her grandmother passed away.

Neel Rana

About the Author- Neel Rana is a YA short story author, flash fiction writer, literary enthusiast and the founder of Pandora Post. Neel holds a degree in BA Honours in English Literature and has been writing since 2017. Neel’s magnum opus YA short storybook, “The Drunken Ghost” has been well received by the readers.