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

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun None
Verb None
Adjective saturnine
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • Despite the festive atmosphere, he remained saturnine, his brow furrowed and his gaze fixed on the distant horizon, lost in his thoughts of sorrow.

  • The old man’s saturnine countenance spoke volumes of the hardships he had endured, his eyes filled with a lifetime of melancholy and reflection.

  • The stormy weather seemed to match her saturnine mood, as if nature itself was mirroring the inner turmoil she carried within.

  • The room was dimly lit, casting a saturnine shadow over the figures huddled together, their faces etched with a silent and somber intensity.


The word “saturnine” traces its origins to the Latin word “saturninus,” which refers to the planet Saturn. In ancient astrology and medieval medicine, Saturn was associated with melancholy and a somber temperament. Over time, the term “saturnine” came to describe a person who is gloomy, moody, or displaying a sullen or serious disposition.

The prefix “saturn-” refers to the planet Saturn, while the suffix “-ine” indicates a quality or characteristic. The root word “saturn” is derived from the Roman god Saturn, who was associated with agriculture, time, and a melancholic temperament.

The term “saturnine” is used to describe individuals who exhibit a dark or solemn demeanor. It implies a serious and introspective nature, often associated with someone who is contemplative, brooding, or prone to melancholy. It can also suggest a lack of cheerfulness or a disposition that is cold or aloof.

In literature and art, “saturnine” is often used to describe characters or moods that are marked by seriousness, melancholy, or a sense of introspection. It can depict a somber or thoughtful atmosphere, and is frequently associated with gloomy landscapes, dark colors, and subdued lighting.

While “saturnine” is primarily used to describe people and their temperament, it can also be extended to describe weather, environments, or situations that evoke a sense of gloominess or a solemn atmosphere.

Overall, “saturnine” conveys a sense of seriousness, introspection, and melancholy. Its usage emphasizes a somber and gloomy temperament, often associated with the influence of the planet Saturn in astrology and ancient beliefs.