Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

sad - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective sad pronunciation in American English /sæd/
Word Forms
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    feeling unhappy, especially because something bad has happened

    Reading her letter made us all feel a little sad.

    sad about:

    I felt sad about leaving him, but I had no choice.

    feel/be sad for someone:

    I feel sad for all the children growing up without a father at home.

    be sad to see/hear something:

    I was very sad to hear that your mother had died.

    1. a.
      [usually before noun] used about people’s behavior or appearance

      “I’m OK,” she said in a sad voice.

      sad eyes

    2. b.
      making you feel unhappy

      It was a sad day when we sold our home.

      Dad waited until after dinner to tell us the sad news.

      The only sad thing was that Jim couldn’t come to the party.

  2. 2
    [usually before noun] very bad in a way that makes you feel angry, upset, or shocked

    The sad truth is that many children never learn to read.

    it is sad that:

    I think it’s sad that children spend so much time watching television.

    something is a sad reflection on something/someone (=it shows how bad something or someone is):

    Teacherssalaries are a sad reflection on our commitment to educating children.

    a sad state of affairs (=bad situation):

    It’s a sad state of affairs when people can’t be bothered to vote anymore.

  3. 4
    very informal a sad person is someone who you think is boring or who behaves in a way that does not deserve respect

    I’m just one of those sad people who sit at home reading on Saturday night.


sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day


to teach someone

Open Dictionary


an electric skateboard

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play