Word: lachrymose

Pronunciation: LA-krə-mohs / LA-krə-mohz

Part of Speech: adjective

Definition: tearful or given to weeping

Source: Oxford Dictionaries


A few weeks ago, I shared a word to describe people who feel overly sentimental. Along those lines, here’s another word for those who tend to be especially tearful or inclined to crying. Maybe you didn’t get a chance to fully celebrate the month of love this year, but hopefully it hasn’t made you “lachrymose”!

To be “lachrymose” is to be given to weeping or tearful. The word arose in the mid 17th century in the sense “like tears” and comes from the Latin adjective lacrimosus, meaning “causing tears”. This adjective stems from the noun lacrima, which means “tear”.

I first heard this word in the 2004 movie A Series of Unfortunate Events, when Aunt Josephine shows the Baudelaire children the view of Lake Lachrymose from her window. Though I’ve loved the sound of it ever since, I would recommend the word mostly for poetry as opposed to narrative, simply for how formal it comes across compared to simpler synonyms like “teary” and “misty-eyed”. Still, if you think it fits the style of your writing, feel free to work it into a story. If your characters often find themselves getting emotional, “lachrymose” may be a good word to keep on your vocabulary list!

What are your thoughts on this word? Any suggestions for future “Word of the Week” featured words?

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