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

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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


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


She lamented over the loss of her best friend. “I've lost my best friend!” she lamented.


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

Many were still lamenting Moore's loss and counting down the days until 2020, when Jones will be up for re-election. NBC News, "Alabama Democrat Doug Jones walks tightrope with Trump and his own party," 2 July 2018 Moderates lament that they've been forced to take tough messaging votes to boost conservatives. Lauren Fox, CNN, "On latest immigration fight, moderates use conservative playbook," 22 May 2018 Lee Jenkins: No, those guys move all the time and actually Chris was already kind of lamenting his commutes. Ben Golliver And Lee Jenkins,, "What Would Houston Have to Sacrifice to Secure LeBron James?," 3 May 2018 Months after California legalized the marijuana business, pot growers and manufacturers lament that they are still locked out of the legal industry in Los Angeles. Emily Alpert Reyes,, "Marijuana growers, manufacturers have yet to get the green light from L.A.," 23 Apr. 2018 The night before, Justin Bour was lamenting his wild throw that cost the Marlins a run in the series-opening loss to the Mets. Craig Davis,, "Bour's two homers not enough for Marlins against Mets' barrage," 11 Apr. 2018 Schools lament that teenagers equate safer with safe. Author: Kate Zernike, Anchorage Daily News, "Devices to quit smoking become the devices teenagers can’t quit," 2 Apr. 2018 Family farmers lament that trees obstruct the big machinery needed to keep their land productive. The Economist, "Felled trees and muddy watersQueensland is one of the world’s worst places for deforestation," 24 Feb. 2018 Young also lamented how the Great Recession hit black families more harshly. Max Londberg, kansascity, "Black Privilege app launches in KC, aims to funnel money to black-owned biz | The Kansas City Star," 27 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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,, "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,, "A Christian critic wrestles with new biblical films and the hope of a better 'faith-based' cinema," 30 Mar. 2018 All photos courtesy of Carado Peruse any camper forum—or Facebook group—and you’ll notice a common lament: Why does Europe get all of the innovative campers? Megan Barber, Curbed, "Compact camper van fits a bathroom, sleeps two," 27 Nov. 2018 His wife is on him to tone it down, plus free-throw groaning and rebound laments are pretty tame. Carolyn Hax, The Seattle Times, "Worried that her husband’s decision to order a burger could be a sign of dementia," 24 July 2018 In fact, as a lead singer, JJ Julius Son was akin to a bluesy Eddie Vedder rather than Robert Plant or Chris Cornell. Ballads and laments suited his murmuring tenderness. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Best and worst of Summerfest Day 4: In Real Life, Kaleo, Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang and more," 30 June 2018 Among Democratic bosses who weren’t watching soccer, laments and cries were heard when Kennedy’s retirement was confirmed. John Kass,, "It's a bad week to be a Democratic boss," 27 June 2018 But something about Michael's doomsday lament — rooted in a young man's naivete, but also in a scientifically accurate view of the planet — nonetheless takes root deep within Toller, feeding on his own despair. Justin Chang,, "The bracing 'First Reformed,' starring a superb Ethan Hawke, resurrects Paul Schrader's career," 17 May 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


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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Statistics for lament

Last Updated

22 Mar 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



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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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 Encyclopedia article about lament

Comments on lament

What made you want to look up lament? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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