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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for lament

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Wayne Benos, adviser to the mock trial team and a practicing attorney with 40 years of experience, prefers to focus on the benefits of the competition, rather than lamenting the loss. cleveland, "Independence High School students win awards at mock trial competition," 24 Jan. 2020 Pictures of the wealthy young stars receiving and sporting Bey's clothes prompted some backlash from critics who lamented the celebrities could all afford to buy their own Ivy Park gear. Chauncey Alcorn Cnn Business, CNN, "Beyoncé's Ivy Park x Adidas' line drops online and sends the internet into a frenzy," 17 Jan. 2020 Several fruit and vegetable vendors, however, lamented a 20-50% slowdown in their businesses because of inflation. Aarefa Johari, Quartz India, "High food inflation in India is forcing families to choose between good meals and education," 14 Jan. 2020 For years, researchers and policymakers have lamented the program’s failure to achieve one of its key goals: giving families a chance at living in safer communities with better schools. Jacqueline Rabe Thomas, ProPublica, "How Wealthy Towns Keep People With Housing Vouchers Out," 9 Jan. 2020 No one proved this better than Dries Van Noten, who produced his new collection in collaboration with Christian Lacroix, the couturier whose long absence from the runways has been much lamented. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "The Top Collections of Spring 2020," 4 Oct. 2019 And Lauria laments not getting to eat at an In-and-Out Burger after her Costco trip with her young son. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Goop’s Netflix series: It’s so much worse than I expected and I can’t unsee it," 17 Jan. 2020 USA TODAY Remember last March, when some college hoops pundits were lamenting the lack of upsets in the early rounds of the Big Dance? Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, "Starting Five: Duke-Louisville headlines college basketball weekend," 17 Jan. 2020 Jankovich consistently lamenting the NCAA for not finding a resolution prior to the season isn’t fair if the school hadn’t submitted its waivers. Sam Blum, Dallas News, "SMU didn’t submit its basketball waivers to the NCAA until Oct. 11 and Nov. 6. This is an inside look at why it happened so late.," 14 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun When her child was killed in battle, Brigid invented keening, a low, wailing lament that rolled up out of her and across the land. Carmel Mc Mahon, Longreads, "Brigid, Magdalene, My Mother, and Me," 13 Nov. 2019 As cinema’s reigning, film-loving, left-leaning skeptic, Godard expressed his lament knowingly, while moving into his late, politically transcendent, spiritual phase (Nouvelle Vague, JLG by JLG, Forever Mozart, In Praise of Love). Armond White, National Review, "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," 20 Dec. 2019 Complaining about not getting an iffy call is a loser’s lament. oregonlive, "Oregon Ducks get the job done with poise, composure and discipline: Issues & Answers," 20 Oct. 2019 The demise of the Oakland tailgate scene was a common lament. Matt Kawahara,, "Raiders fans in Las Vegas: Excitement and pride mixed with a hint of sadness," 6 Oct. 2019 Experts and members of Congress lament that far more needs to be done. David Lightman,, "More Americans keep dying while walking. Even more carnage lies ahead," 29 Oct. 2019 The larger goal is to make my Twitter feed (@WilnerHotline) a post-games gathering spot for Pac-12 fans to crow or complain, lament or lambast. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Hotline newsletter: Our plan for Saturday nights, season previews roll, Scott talks DTV, early kickoffs shelved and more," 23 Aug. 2019 But this is something of a buddy comedy, and Figaro has two co-conspirators: As Almaviva, tenor Alek Shrader does fine things with the laments of love and makes each assumed persona suitably silly. Rob Hubbard, Twin Cities, "Review: Minnesota Opera’s ‘Barber of Seville’ keeps its focus on the fun," 13 Nov. 2019 But rather than presenting his poem as a mournful lament, Lydgate goes on to extract broader moral ammunition from this supposedly ghastly situation. Jack Hartnell, Time, "The Medieval History Behind Our Halloween Fascination With Skeletons," 30 Oct. 2019

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for lament

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for lament

Last Updated

8 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lament.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for lament


How to pronounce lament (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lament

 (Entry 1 of 2)

formal : to express sorrow, regret, or unhappiness about something



English Language Learners Definition of lament (Entry 2 of 2)

formal : an expression of sorrow especially : a song or poem that expresses sorrow for someone who has died or something that is gone


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

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Comments on lament

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