adjective \ˈplān-tiv\

: expressing suffering or sadness : having a sad sound

Full Definition of PLAINTIVE

:  expressive of suffering or woe :  melancholy <a plaintive sigh>
plain·tive·ly adverb
plain·tive·ness noun

Examples of PLAINTIVE

  1. We could hear the plaintive cry of a wounded animal in the woods.
  2. <the puppy's plaintive expression after we put the toy away was rather amusing>


Middle English plaintif grieving, from Anglo-French pleintif, plaintif, from plaint
First Known Use: 1579


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