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A child crying

Sadness is an emotion characterized by feelings of disadvantage, loss, and helplessness. When sad, people often become quiet, less energetic, and withdrawn.

Sad is the negation of happy. Its synonyms are sorrow, grief, misery, and melancholy. The philosopher Baruch Spinoza defined sadness as the transfer of a person from a large perfection to a smaller one.

Sadness can be viewed as a temporary lowering of mood, whereas depression is characterized by a persistent and intense lowered mood, as well as disruption to one's ability to function in day to day matters. When sad we often go through a process called crying where we shed tears.


Pupil empathy

Facial expressions of sadness with small pupils are judged significantly more intensely sad with decreasing pupil size. A person's own pupil size also mirrors this with them being smaller when viewing sad faces with small pupils. No parallel effect exists when people look at neutral, happy or angry expressions.[1] The greater degree to which a person's pupil's mirror another predicts a person's greater score on empathy.[2]


See also


Further reading

Simple English

A young boy looking sad
Simple English Wiktionary has the word meaning for:

Sadness is an emotion. It is the opposite of happiness. People feel sad when something bad has happened, for example, if someone they love has died, or if they are parted from friends. The word "miserable" has a similar meaning.

In big letters, SAD, or S.A.D. is short for "Seasonal Affective Disorder". SAD is a sickness that some people have in the winter. They feel depressed as the nights become longer and there is less daylight.

When people are very sad, and for a long time, the person could have a serious mental illness called depression.


It is normally thought of the opposite of happiness, but you can feel both happy and sad at the same time.

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