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The meaning and origin of the expression: A sorry sight

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A sorry sight

What's the meaning of the phrase 'A sorry sight'?

A regrettable and unwelcome aspect or feature. Now also used to mean something or someone of untidy appearance.

What's the origin of the phrase 'A sorry sight'?

Cobbe family portrait of William ShakespeareFrom Shakespeare's Macbeth, 1605:

MACBETH:
Hark! Who lies i' the second chamber?

LADY MACBETH:
Donalbain.

MACBETH:
This is a sorry sight.
[Looking on his hands]

LADY MACBETH:
A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight.

See other phrases and sayings from Shakespeare.

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