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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce maudlin (audio)

Dictionary definition of maudlin

Overly sentimental, emotional, or tearful in a way that is considered insincere or exaggerated.
"The conversation took a maudlin turn as they started to reminisce about the past."

Detailed meaning of maudlin

It is often used to describe a person who is excessively emotional or sentimental, especially when it comes to sentimental or tragic events. Maudlin can also be used to describe a piece of art, literature, or music that is overly sentimental or melodramatic. When something is described as maudlin, it implies a sense of cloying sentimentality or an attempt to manipulate emotions for a particular effect. While maudlin can sometimes be seen as a positive trait, it is often viewed negatively as a sign of insincerity or manipulation. Overall, maudlin is a term used to describe something that is excessively emotional or sentimental in a way that is considered insincere or exaggerated.

Example sentences containing maudlin

1. He couldn't help but feel maudlin on his birthday as he reflected on his aging.
2. His maudlin speech at the funeral moved everyone to tears.
3. Despite the maudlin storyline, the movie had a cathartic effect on the audience.
4. She became maudlin after listening to a sad song that reminded her of lost love.
5. The maudlin music filled the room, amplifying the atmosphere of sorrow.
6. Despite their tough exterior, the soldiers shared a maudlin moment as they remembered fallen comrades.

History and etymology of maudlin

The adjective 'maudlin' has a fascinating etymology that takes us back to medieval times. It is derived from the Middle English name 'Maudelen,' which was a variant of 'Magdalene,' a name often associated with Mary Magdalene, a biblical figure. Mary Magdalene was traditionally depicted as a penitent sinner who repented and expressed deep sorrow and remorse for her past actions. Over time, the name 'Maudelen' became linked to excessive and insincere displays of emotion, particularly sorrow and tears, reminiscent of Mary Magdalene's penitential portrayal. Thus, the etymology of 'maudlin' reflects the idea of being overly sentimental, emotional, or tearful in a way that is considered insincere or exaggerated, drawing from historical and religious connotations.

Quiz: Find the meaning of maudlin

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Further usage examples of maudlin

1. The maudlin novel captured the readers' hearts with its poignant characters.
2. His maudlin behavior after a few drinks was both predictable and tiresome.
3. The maudlin photographs in the album reminded her of happier times.
4. She found solace in listening to maudlin ballads during times of heartbreak.
5. The maudlin movie brought tears to my eyes with its sentimental storyline.
6. Her maudlin demeanor made it difficult to have a cheerful conversation.
7. He became maudlin and emotional after drinking too much.
8. The movie was criticized for its maudlin and sentimental plot.
9. The song's lyrics were maudlin and cliche-ridden.
10. She had a maudlin, tearful reaction to the news of her friend's death.
11. The novel was criticized for its maudlin and overly sentimental tone.
12. The partygoers found his maudlin and overly sentimental speeches irritating.
13. He had a maudlin, self-pitying attitude.
14. The speech was maudlin, filled with overly sentimental and emotional language.
15. The woman's performance was so maudlin that people started to boo her off stage.
16. She had a maudlin and nostalgic attachment to her childhood home.
17. His poetry was considered maudlin and overly sentimental by critics.
18. The speech was maudlin and overly emotional, lacking in logical arguments.



sentimental, unsentimental, stoic, unemotional


High School 20, SAT 16 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Expressions Of Emotion

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