From Middle English saddenen, equivalent to sad +‎ -en.


  • IPA(key): /ˈsædən/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ædən


sadden (third-person singular simple present saddens, present participle saddening, simple past and past participle saddened)

  1. (transitive) To make sad or unhappy.
    • 1717, Alexander Pope, Eloisa to Abelard:
      Her gloomy presence saddens all the scene.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 7, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      The turmoil went on—no rest, no peace. […] It was nearly eleven o'clock now, and he strolled out again. In the little fair created by the costers' barrows the evening only seemed beginning; and the naphtha flares made one's eyes ache, the men's voices grated harshly, and the girls' faces saddened one.
    It saddens me to think that I might have hurt someone.
  2. (intransitive, rare) To become sad or unhappy.
    • 1999, Mary Ann Mitchell, Drawn To The Grave[1]:
      Hyacinth perfume tickled her senses, making her feel giddy, but she saddened when she saw how uncared for the garden was.
  3. (transitive, rare) To darken a color during dyeing.
  4. (transitive) To render heavy or cohesive.
    • 1707, J[ohn] Mortimer, The Whole Art of Husbandry; or, The Way of Managing and Improving of Land. [], 2nd edition, London: [] J[ohn] H[umphreys] for H[enry] Mortlock [], and J[onathan] Robinson [], published 1708, OCLC 13320837:
      Marle's binding and sadning of land being the great Prejudice it doth to Clay-lands.



Northern SamiEdit


  • (Kautokeino) IPA(key): /ˈsadːden/



  1. first-person singular past indicative of saddit