sullen and ill-tempered; showing a gloomy or surly disposition


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Gloomy, melancholy, sullen, moody, downcast, dreary


Cheerful, joyful, lighthearted, sunny, lively, bright

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun morosenesses, moroseness
Verb None
Adjective morose
Adverb morosely

Example Sentences

  • The morose teenager sat alone in her room, lost in a sea of melancholy thoughts and dark emotions.

  • The morose atmosphere in the office was palpable as everyone worked in silence, devoid of any cheerfulness.

  • His morose demeanor and constant frowning made it difficult for others to approach him.

  • The morose sky, covered in dark clouds, mirrored his somber mood as he walked through the empty streets.


The word “morose” has its roots in the Latin term “morosus,” meaning “sullen” or “morbid.” It is derived from the Latin noun “mora,” which translates to “delay” or “slowness.” The suffix “-ose” is added to the root “moros-” to form the adjective “morose.”

The usage of “morose” describes someone who is gloomy, sullen, or ill-tempered, often displaying a lack of interest or enthusiasm. The term highlights a person’s tendency to be withdrawn, melancholic, or introspective. It conveys a sense of sadness or a somber mood that may be caused by inner struggles, dissatisfaction, or disillusionment. Morose behavior can have negative effects on the individual and those around them, as it can lead to feelings of hopelessness, isolation, or frustration. On the other hand, it may also be a sign of a deeper emotional or psychological issue that requires attention and support. For example, it may be caused by emotional distress, physical health problems, or life events such as loss, disappointment, or trauma.

As an adjective, “morose” emphasizes the mood or disposition of an individual. It is commonly used to describe someone who exhibits a gloomy or pessimistic outlook, lacking in cheerfulness or optimism. The term can also be applied to situations, environments, or atmospheres that evoke a sense of sadness or desolation.

Variations of the word “morose” include “morosely” as an adverb form and “moroseness” as a noun form.

Understanding the history and usage of “morose” reminds us of the complexities of human emotions and the diverse range of moods and dispositions we may encounter. It encourages empathy and understanding when interacting with individuals who may be experiencing a somber or melancholic state. Recognizing and acknowledging someone’s morose demeanor can foster compassion and provide support in times of emotional turmoil.