1. bitter or scornful; “the face was saturnine and swarthy, and the sensual lips…twisted with disdain”- Oscar Wilde
  2. showing a brooding ill humor; “a dark scowl”; “the proverbially dour New England Puritan”; “a glum, hopeless shrug”; “he sat in moody silence”; “a morose and unsociable manner”; “a saturnine, almost misanthropic young genius”- Bruce Bliven; “a sour temper”; “a sullen crowd”
  1. (of a person or their manner) slow and gloomy a saturnine temperament

(of a person or their features) dark in coloring and moody or mysterious his saturnine face and dark, watchful eyes

(of a place or an occasion) gloomy a saturnine setting


late Middle English (as a term in astrology): from Old French saturnin, from medieval Latin Saturninus ‘of Saturn’ (identified with lead by the alchemists and associated with slowness and gloom by astrologers)



  1. he was a rather saturnine individual who never spoke an unnecessary word

Similar Words: gloomy sombre melancholy melancholic moody miserable lugubrious dour glum unsmiling humourless grumpy bad-tempered taciturn uncommunicative unresponsive

Opposites: cheerful jovial

  1. his saturnine good looks

Similar Words: swarthy dark dark-skinned dark-complexioned mysterious mercurial moody