Saudade

souˈdädə

Noun

  • A feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia that is supposedly characteristic of the Portuguese or Brazilian temperament.

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Example Sentences

“On the first warm day of every year, Elena is overwhelmed with saudade for her childhood home in Brazil.”

“The Portuguese musical genre fado combines acoustic guitar with soaring, melancholy vocals full of saudade.”

“My Brazilian grandmother told me she wasn’t sad, she was saudade.”

Word Origin

Portuguese, early 20th century

Why this word?

There’s no English equivalent for “saudade,” a loanword from Portuguese that describes a feeling of melancholic longing and missing something or someone. Both Portuguese and Portuguese-speaking Brazilian cultures have the reputation of being full of sad emotions or nostalgic longings for things and people long past. Saudade has fueled Portuguese art and in particular “fado,” a folk music genre that combines acoustic guitar with vocalists singing songs of lament, longing, and loneliness.

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ˌmedəˈnoiə