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a sad state (of affairs)

A particularly unfortunate, unpleasant, and/or upsetting situation or set of circumstances. Their company has been in a sad state after Jonathan took over. It's a sad state of affairs when you can no longer be sure how you're going to feed your children each night.
See also: sad, state

too (something) for words

So extremely (something) that it cannot be described in words. Marie, you are too kind for words. How can I ever thank you?
See also: word

sadder but wiser

Knowledgeable or experienced after having gone through something unpleasant or unfortunate. We came through the economic disaster sadder but wiser, hopefully better prepared for such disasters in the future. I left the dinner sadder but wiser, understanding just how entrenched her family's bigotry still is.
See also: but, sad, wiser

a (kind of) reflection on (someone or something)

That which presents a particular kind of opinion about or informs the reputation of someone or something. The staff you hire to serve customers are the best reflection on your restaurant as a whole. I feel like parents only want their children to behave in public because they know they'll be a poor reflection on them otherwise. The decay and ruin these landmarks are in is unfortunately a sad reflection on the economic state of our city.
See also: on, reflection

sad sack

1. noun A hopelessly inept, blundering person who can't do anything right. That poor sad sack Sarah has been stuck in the same dead-end role in this company for years.
2. noun A sad, moping person, especially one who refuses to try and improve their mood or situation. Don't be such a sad sack—I know you're disappointed about missing the concert, but that doesn't mean we can't have fun tonight! He just sat there like a sad sack, sulking in the corner of the party.
3. verb To be in a sad, moping mood, especially while refusing to try and improve one's mood or situation. Usually used in the continuous tense; sometimes hyphenated. If you don't quit sad sacking back there, I'm going to turn the car around and drive us all straight back home! Bill's been sad-sacking around the office ever since he got passed over for the promotion.
See also: sack, sad

a sad sight

Some instance or situation that arouses an intense feeling of sadness or pity. It was such a sad sight to behold, having to watch the child be taken from her mother like that. As I entered the clearing, I came upon the sad sight of a deer that had been caught in a bear trap.
See also: sad, sight

disappointed at someone or something

 and disappointed in someone or something
becoming sad because of someone or something. I am really disappointed at what you did. I am very disappointed in you. That was a terrible thing to do. They were disappointed in the outcome.
See also: disappointed

It is a poor heart that never rejoices.

 and It is a sad heart that never rejoices.
Prov. Even a habitually sad person cannot be sad all the time. (Sometimes used to indicate that a habitually sad person is happy about something.) Jill: I've never seen Sam smile before, but today, at his retirement party, he smiled. Jane: It is a poor heart that never rejoices.
See also: heart, never, poor, rejoice, that

sadder but wiser

Cliché unhappy but knowledgeable [about someone or something--after an unpleasant event]. After the accident, I was sadder but wiser, and would never make the same mistake again. We left the meeting sadder but wiser, knowing that we could not ever come to an agreement with Becky's aunt.
See also: but, sad, wiser

sorry sight

 and sad sight
a sight that one regrets seeing; someone or something that is unpleasant to look at. Well, aren't you a sorry sight! Go get cleaned up and put on some fresh clothes.
See also: sight, sorry

sadder but wiser

Unhappy but having learned from one's mistakes, as in Sadder but wiser, she's never going near poison ivy again. The pairing of these two adjectives was first recorded in Samuel Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798).
See also: but, sad, wiser

sad sack

A singularly inept person, as in Poor George is a hopeless sad sack. This term alludes to a cartoon character, Sad Sack, invented by George Baker in 1942 and representing a soldier in ill-fitting uniform who failed at whatever he tried to do. It was soon transferred to clumsily inept civilians.
See also: sack, sad

sad sack

an inept blundering person. informal, chiefly US
See also: sack, sad

a sad, poor, etc. reflection on something

a thing which damages somebody’s/something’s reputation: The increase in crime is a sad reflection on our society today.
See also: on, reflection, something

too funny, sad, etc. for ˈwords

extremely funny, sad, etc: The man in the post office was too stupid for words.
See also: word


mod. poor; undesirable. This steak is really sad.

sad sack

n. a sad person; a listless or depressed person. Tom always looks like such a sad sack.
See also: sack, sad
References in periodicals archive ?
People try to smuggle here from all over the world because Tijuana has an established smuggling infrastructure" In the offices hang photos of illegal immigrants stuffed in dashboards and hanging from the bottom of trucks, but the sadder cases involve children being smuggled across to waiting parents.
And, if they can't make abortions illegal, the proponents of all these restrictions seem to make women who seek abortions feel sadder about it.
An orange extension cord hangs from the top of the photo and forms a tangle on the ground, as if linking the daydream of heaven depicted on the wall to a sadder reality.
It really is a sad day for theatre and freedom but possibly a sadder one for the Sikh faith.
The story of the 2004 intelligence reform bill just keeps getting sadder and sadder.
The newspaper reported that Archbishop Greg Venables, primate of the Southern Cone, reacted strongly to the blessing, saying, "It is a very sad day when a bishop chooses to flagrantly reject the pleas of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the primates of the Anglican Communion and it's an even sadder day when he uses biblical language to promote disobedience of the Bible's teaching.
Even sadder, as the article pointed out, was his directive to the priests.
His death is a tragedy for otology, and the world is a sadder place without him.
In this group, criers rated themselves as having been sadder during the upsetting film than the dry-eyed did.
For some the resulting contradictions could not be resolved, or the new identity proved impossible to sustain, as some of the sadder case-studies in Jackson and Marsden's study of northern working-class grammar-school boys of the 1950s demonstrated.
West observes, "I've seen a lot of burnout but the sadder thing I've seen is a lot of people who reach 65 and find that there's nothing in the world they like to do.
I'm not even thinking of the ghost of my younger self, the one who saw Follies in 1971 and identified with the young dreamers in the show's flashbacks rather than with their older, sadder incarnations, who seem so much more comprehensible to me now.
I find it sad, but I find it sadder that people like Perrault weren't able to live to see their dreams come true.
Also, on a personal and unfortunately somewhat sadder note, I report that Glen Duncan is leaving The Beverly Foundation to pursue new career opportunities.
In Alvin Aubert's new collection, his second since his 1985 new and selected, South Louisiana, we meet the same wistful, playful man, in this book grown older, wiser, perhaps a bit sadder.