la·​ment | \ lə-ˈment How to pronounce lament (audio) \
lamented; lamenting; laments

Definition of lament

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to mourn aloud : wail nightingales lament without ceasing— L. P. Smith

transitive verb

1 : to express sorrow, mourning, or regret for often demonstratively : mourn … must regret the imprudence, lament the result …— Jane Austen
2 : to regret strongly He lamented his decision not to go to college.



Definition of lament (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a crying out in grief : wailing
2 : dirge, elegy
3 : complaint

Synonyms & Antonyms for lament

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for lament


deplore, lament, bewail, bemoan mean to express grief or sorrow for something. deplore implies regret for the loss or impairment of something of value. deplores the breakdown in family values lament implies a profound or demonstrative expression of sorrow. lamenting the loss of their only child bewail and bemoan imply sorrow, disappointment, or protest finding outlet in words or cries, bewail commonly suggesting loudness, and bemoan lugubriousness. fans bewailed the defeat purists bemoaning the corruption of the language

Examples of lament in a Sentence

Verb She lamented over the loss of her best friend. “I've lost my best friend!” she lamented. Noun The poem is a lament for a lost love. the national lament that was heard when President Kennedy was assassinated
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Full of puns and erotic innuendos, courtesan songs typically lament trysts that must take place in secret, meetings that don’t materialize, and the oppressiveness of polite society. Priyanka Mattoo, The New Yorker, 9 May 2022 Managers often lament that remote work isn't as efficient as having staff on hand and on-site, and maintaining productivity is a key issue bank bosses and other executives have flagged when angling to get staff back to work. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 29 Apr. 2022 Finally, the guys lament the state of Major League Baseball's labor impasse. Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, 3 Mar. 2022 For the price of an international flight, a lavish hotel and unjustifiable CO2 emissions, the partakers can lament about our doomed planet and its evil corporations with like-minded elitists. Wal Van Lierop, Forbes, 29 Oct. 2021 During the height of the pandemic, the fashion industry used the quiet time to lament its operating practices: the relentless schedule of catwalk shows, the constant introduction of new collections, the globe-trotting. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2021 Some might lament the restricted, unconventional conditions at these mid-pandemic Olympics. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, 31 July 2021 Houston, of course, was left to lament a tragically poor shooting performance, making just 1-of-20 from the 3-point line and 30 percent overall. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 27 Mar. 2022 Some Marion County Democratic state legislators — usually quick to lament the state's interference in Marion County's governance — are now hoping to use state powers to resolve an inner-party conflict. Amelia Pak-harvey, The Indianapolis Star, 19 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Professor James Kainen recalled in a Fordham obituary that her performance would prompt a frequent lament by the Rev. Joseph A. O’Hare, the former president of Fordham. Sam Roberts, New York Times, 6 May 2022 Like Sergei Loznitsa’s recently rereleased ‘Donbass,’ though less sprawling in scope and more intimate in feel, this omnibus work functions as both a lament and a prophecy. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 29 Apr. 2022 John Kerry’s lament that war in Ukraine would damage the climate may be the last word on political self-absorption. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, 2 Mar. 2022 The Masked One and his coterie were astonished by Mobilians’ ability to rise above last year’s Carnival ceasefire and still find fellowship amid loss and lament. al, 6 Feb. 2022 Masakazu Tokura, chairman of Keidanren, Japan’s largest employers’ federation, echoed that lament. Fortune, 22 Apr. 2022 The track, halfway between glorious hymn and exorcizing lament, embodies the core ethos of Acabou chorare: delineating a crucial crossroads of genres, influences, and approaches within Brazilian music. Spin Staff, SPIN, 22 Apr. 2022 That same lament is typical at this time of year for the Big Ten, which finished fourth in conference rankings just behind the Big East. Paul Sullivan,, 22 Mar. 2022 Passing up shots has been a regular lament of Blashill's, and Danny DeKeyser provided a good example of the power of taking a shot in the first period. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, 6 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lament.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of lament


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lament

Verb and Noun

Middle English lementen, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French lamenter, from Latin lamentari, from lamentum, noun, lament

Learn More About lament

Time Traveler for lament

Time Traveler

The first known use of lament was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near lament




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for lament

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lament.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for lament


la·​ment | \ lə-ˈment How to pronounce lament (audio) \
lamented; lamenting

Kids Definition of lament

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to mourn aloud : wail
2 : to express great sorrow or regret for He lamented the disappearance of his dog.



Kids Definition of lament (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a crying out in great sorrow
2 : a sad song or poem

More from Merriam-Webster on lament

Nglish: Translation of lament for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lament for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about lament


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!