having a gloomy or surly disposition; looking unhappy or dissatisfied


US English

UK English

Part of speech



dour, sullen, sour, glum, morose


cheerful, sunny, bright

Example sentences

  • Her saturnine expression made it clear that she was not in the mood to talk.
  • The saturnine man sat at the bar, nursing his drink and scowling at everyone.
  • The saturnine mood of the painting was reflective of the artist’s state of mind.


The word “saturnine” is an adjective used to describe a person or a thing with a gloomy, surly, or unhappy disposition. It comes from the Latin word “Saturnus,” which was the Roman god of agriculture, harvest, and also associated with unhappiness and melancholy. The word is often used to describe someone who is consistently negative, bitter, or unhappy, often with a dour expression on their face. In literature and the arts, “saturnine” is used to describe works or characters that evoke a sense of melancholy, sadness, or pessimism. Overall, “saturnine” is a word that is used to describe a negative or unpleasant aspect of someone’s character or personality