Simple Definition of plaintive
: expressing suffering or sadness : having a sad sound
Full Definition of plaintive
: expressive of suffering or woe : melancholy <a plaintive sigh>
Examples of plaintive
We could hear the plaintive cry of a wounded animal in the woods.
<the puppy's plaintive expression after we put the toy away was rather amusing>
Origin of plaintive
Middle English plaintif grieving, from Anglo-French pleintif, plaintif, from plaint
First Known Use: 1579
PLAINTIVE Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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