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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 ?
It's probably one of the saddest moments of my footballing career to be in this position," Cahill said.
To donate to the Help the Aged "1 is the saddest number" call 0207 239 1983 or visit www.
The Verve beat Robbie Williams' Angels for saddest song, with Elton John's Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word third.
But saddest of all is the man driving past in his van who saw the toddler walking on her own but didn't stop in case someone might think he was trying to abduct her.
2004 The Corporation (Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott); The Saddest Music in the World (Guy Maddin)
The works are a source of some colorful details (Koons's famed stint as a MOMA membership salesman, for example, reportedly saw him don a series of office-clown outfits including "paper bibs, two ties worn simultaneously, loud polka-dot shirts, a sequined jacket and an inflatable flower which he would wrap around his neck"), yet it would be a stretch to claim that we learn much from McEwen's efficient summaries other than who we'd be saddest (or most gratified) to see bite the dust.
Sinead O'Connor's Nothing Compares 2 U was named the saddest song, while Bob Marley's No Woman No Cry was the ultimate chill- out choice.
To watch an otter scratch out his eyes in torment must be one of the saddest sights any caring human being could witness.
ONE OF MY favorite quotations about dance--and I know I have quoted it more than once--is also one of the saddest.
Princess Anne's English bull terrier is a patent liability and the saddest thing about the dog is that, while the Princess obviously adores her, she can't ignore the fact that this an animal that has attacked a child and killed one of her mother's beloved pets.
In such sterling company, President Bush is far from the most objectionable case, but he is certainly the saddest.
Saddest image is of a former commander, now reduced to surveying a beachfront playground from the lifeguard station he runs.
One of the saddest moments in sports history came in 1939 when New York Yankee slugger Lou Gehrig took himself out of the lineup after playing 14 years without missing a game.
In some ways, maybe the saddest thing revealed by Burning All Illusions is how little the race problem has changed.