28 December 2004

Word for the Day

disconsolate \dis-KON-s&-l&t\ adjective

1. Being beyond consolation; deeply dejected and dispirited;hopelessly sad; filled with grief; as, "a bereaved and disconsolate parent."
2. Inspiring dejection; saddening; cheerless; as, "the disconsolate darkness of the winter nights."

Midway through the course he came to the table with the disconsolateexpression of a basketball coach whose team had just been trounced.
--Bryan Miller, "Odd Couples Can Make Magic," New York Times, March 2, 1994

An eighteenth-century Fairfax, Thomas, lost the last of the land in theSouth Sea Bubble and the Fairfaxes were all but forgotten -- except forLady Mary who was occasionally sighted, dressed all in green, disconsolateand gloomy, and occasionally with her head under her arm for good effect.
--Kate Atkinson, Human Croquet

. . . King Midas, whose lips turn all they touch to cold, unnourishingriches, and who perishes alone and disconsolate, cut off by his wealth fromthe simplest necessities of life -- for bread, water, as well as his wife,his child and his little dog, all turn as he stretches towards them intothe gold he thought he desired more than anything else.
--Jane Shilling, "A golden ambivalence," Times (London), June 2, 2000

Disconsolate comes from Medieval Latin disconsolatus, from Latin dis- + consolatus, past participle of consolari, "to console," from com-, intensive prefix + solari, "to comfort, to soothe, to relieve."

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