lament

verb
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.

lament

noun

Definition of lament (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for lament

Synonyms: Verb

bemoan, bewail, deplore, grieve (for), mourn, wail (for)

Synonyms: Noun

groan, howl, keen, lamentation, moan, plaint, wail

Antonyms: Verb

delight, exult (in), glory (in), joy, rejoice (in)

Antonyms: Noun

exultation, rejoicing

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Choose the Right Synonym for lament

Verb

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

The elimination of state funding, the Alaska system president lamented, could result in the closure of one of its campuses. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "Higher Education Has Become a Partisan Issue," 5 July 2019 Former Mad Editor Allie Goertz, who resigned last month, lamented that there will no longer be new content after issue No. Robert Mclean And Michelle Lou, CNN, "Mad Magazine will effectively cease publication after 67 years," 4 July 2019 Yankees fans spent much of the winter fuming at general manager Brian Cashman, lamenting his failure to sign either Manny Machado or Bryce Harper in free agency. Michael Shapiro, SI.com, "Forget Harper and Machado. Yankees Scored With Free-Agent Bet on DJ LeMahieu," 26 June 2019 January: Wolf moon Native Americans and medieval Europeans supposedly named January's full moon after the howling of hungry wolves lamenting the midwinter paucity of food. National Geographic, "Learn about the lunar cycle, as well as the origins of the many names given to each month's full moon.," 15 June 2019 In a recent article lamenting the Sanders phenomenon, Wilentz accused the left of being irresponsible in its economic promises, solipsistic in its embrace of identity politics, and disrespectful toward the achievements of the liberal tradition. Nicholas Guyatt, The New York Review of Books, "How Proslavery Was the Constitution?," 6 June 2019 By midmorning Monday, the streets were mostly clear and some parents lamented their children were missing class. ... Katie Honan And Leslie Brody, WSJ, "De Blasio Defends Decision to Close Schools," 4 Mar. 2019 Some evangelical pastors lamented that many in their pews aren’t focused on the immigration debate. Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post, "Why many white evangelicals are not protesting family separations on the U.S. border," 18 June 2018 Several others interviewed for this article lamented that Faucher would probably not be able to preside at their funerals. Katy Moeller, idahostatesman, "Father Faucher's fall from grace: Once a respected priest, now he holds Mass in jail," 4 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Snippets of funereal free-jazz laments pop up with horns and surging drums. John Adamian, courant.com, "Brazilian pop star Sessa at the State House," 28 June 2019 For a candidate who needed, more than anything, to turn the clock forward, the Hollings lament was a surprising way to kick off the weekend. Bob Moser, The New Yorker, "The High Stakes for Kamala Harris in the South Carolina Primary," 26 June 2019 Critics often point to Victoria's seemingly all-consuming affection for Albert and her laments that their children failed to console her in his absence. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "What Was Queen Victoria Like as a Mother?," 13 Jan. 2019 The movement of the sea, flowing toward the island, was a kiss; the grazing sheep kissed the earth; the air amid the leaves and grass was a lament of kisses. Lily Tuck, WSJ, "‘Arturo’s Island’ Review: Childhood’s End," 22 Feb. 2019 Michael Gerson lays out a particularly condemnatory, yet nuanced, version of the Christian anti-Trump lament in a lengthy, elegant essay in the April issue of the Atlantic. Nancy D. Wadsworth, Vox, "The racial demons that help explain evangelical support for Trump," 30 Apr. 2018 Typically, Chief Justice Roberts has used the occasion to comment on matters of concern to judges, from laments over lagging salaries to courtroom safety, and this year’s report largely followed that precedent. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Chief Justice Roberts Addresses Misconduct in Judiciary, Avoids Politics," 31 Dec. 2018 So many of our stories are laments: the last maître d’, the closing of iconic restaurant after iconic restaurant. Devra First, BostonGlobe.com, "What’s on the menu at Falmouth’s Buffalo Jump? ‘Weird food that only weirdos like’," 11 July 2018 The stage is set for a courtroom melodrama crawling with straw-man atheists, pseudo-introspective laments and specious arguments concerning the separation of church and state. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "A Christian critic wrestles with new biblical films and the hope of a better 'faith-based' cinema," 30 Mar. 2018

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

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun

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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Statistics for lament

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lament

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

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More Definitions for lament

lament

verb

English Language Learners Definition of lament

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

lament

noun

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

lament

verb
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.

lament

noun

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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More from Merriam-Webster on lament

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lament

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lament

Spanish Central: Translation of lament

Nglish: Translation of lament for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lament for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about lament

Comments on lament

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