saturnine

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj saturnine showing a brooding ill humor "a dark scowl","the proverbially dour New England Puritan","a glum, hopeless shrug","he sat in moody silence","a morose and unsociable manner","a saturnine, almost misanthropic young genius"- Bruce Bliven","a sour temper","a sullen crowd"
    • adj saturnine bitter or scornful "the face was saturnine and swarthy, and the sensual lips...twisted with disdain"- Oscar Wilde"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Saturnine Born under, or influenced by, the planet Saturn.
    • Saturnine Heavy; grave; gloomy; dull; -- the opposite of mercurial; as, a saturnine person or temper.
    • Saturnine (Old Chem) Of or pertaining to lead; characterized by, or resembling, lead, which was formerly called Saturn.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • saturnine Pertaining to the god Saturn or the planet Saturn; under the influence of the planet Saturn.
    • saturnine [lowercase] Morose; dull; heavy; grave; not readily susceptible to excitement or cheerfulness; phlegmatic.
    • saturnine [lowercase] Arousing no interest; stupid; dull; uninteresting.
    • saturnine [lowercase] In old chemistry, pertaining to lead: as, saturnine compounds.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Saturnine grave: gloomy: phlegmatic—those born under the planet Saturn being so disposed: pertaining to lead
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. Saturnus, the god Saturn, also, the planet Saturn: cf. F. saturnin, of or pertaining to lead (Saturn, in old chemistry, meaning lead), saturnien, saturnine, saturnian. See Saturn
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Saturnusserĕre, satum, to sow.

Usage

In literature:

But the contrast of the saturnine Emperor with the sudden change of his court was too powerful.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, Number 358, August 1845" by Various
Whence did the towhee derive his equanimity, and the brown thrush his saturnine temper?
"Birds in the Bush" by Bradford Torrey
Jane was alarmed for the sanity of her saturnine master.
"The Big Bow Mystery" by I. Zangwill
Against the fair, boyish face of Nevers you had to set the saturnine Italianate countenance of Gonzague.
"The Duke's Motto" by Justin Huntly McCarthy
He was a picture of refined Chinese saturninity.
"Peter the Brazen" by George F. Worts
The saturnine Hahn stood at my door with a weapon upon me while I ate.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science April 1930" by Various
There was a saturnine grin about the lower part of the features, but the black eyes were blazing with a deep fire of hatred.
"The Night Riders" by Ridgwell Cullum
Mr Marvel stood up and bowed as she passed, and the silent, saturnine Marchese stared.
"Olive in Italy" by Moray Dalton
Lepine's face was fairly saturnine.
"The Destroyer" by Burton Egbert Stevenson
Only when Bill Lightfoot spoke did he look up, and then with a set sneer, growing daily more saturnine.
"Hidden Water" by Dane Coolidge
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In poetry:

In leafless woodlands saturnine,
Where reckless winds, like goblins mad,
Screech swinging in each barren vine,
His wagship shapes a lesson sad:
"Frost" by Madison Julius Cawein

In news:

Eliot's most successful feline—the depraved Macavity in Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats —is well known as a straight lift from Professor Moriarty, the saturnine villain in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 's "The Final Problem".
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