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

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 My friends roll their eyes in skepticism and lament the lack of a fictional politician like Jeff Smith, Jack Tanner or Jed Bartlett. Philip Elliott, Time, "The Real Congress is Kinder, Gentler Than What You See on TV," 19 Feb. 2021 Whittingham continued to lament on Monday that his offense was in the red zone three times in the first 18 minutes of the game, and only came away with nine points. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utes defense is even better than Kyle Whittingham expected," 7 Dec. 2020 Employees lament that some job classifications are too rigid, that the government has contracted out too much expertise, that some training still seems as if it were designed for clerical workers. New York Times, "The Government Agencies That Became Smaller, and Unhappier, Under Trump," 1 Feb. 2021 As the constant rain pours down, a variety of customers—mostly regulars—order hot drinks and lament their personal concerns. Lillian Brown, Wired, "Coffee Talk Has Become a Quiet Success in a Turbulent Year," 29 Jan. 2021 Warren De La Salle will likely lament the entire offseason four fourth-down conversion attempts that failed against Muskegon Mona Shores during a 25-19 loss in the Division 2 final on Friday afternoon at Ford Field. Keith Dunlap, Detroit Free Press, "MHSAA football: Fourth-down failures will haunt Warren De La Salle," 22 Jan. 2021 Historically, survey researchers have tended to lament low levels of political knowledge in the American public. Shom Mazumder, The New Republic, "What Black People Really Think About the Police," 15 Dec. 2020 Local viewers might lament that fact that no local scenery is identifiable in the film, aside from a particularly searing early scene featuring Aldis Hodge as Jim Brown and which was shot at Magnolia Plantation. Mike Scott,, "'One Night in Miami': Ensemble cast, crackling dialogue sell New Orleans-shot play adaptation," 18 Jan. 2021 Democrats who had long criticized Barr did not lament his departure. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Trump says Barr is resigning, and will leave before Christmas," 14 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This sure reads like a lament over remaining in the Frozen Wasteland. Star Tribune, "Modern baseball devoid of any of the game's past charm," 5 Feb. 2021 This is a sadly familiar lament on the northeast Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, an impoverished region whose mostly Indigenous population depends on fishing. New York Times, "For Nicaragua’s Lobstermen, Deadly Dives Are All Too Common," 24 Jan. 2021 Pastor Tim Nelson rewrote the weekly prayers to include a lament about injustice and violence. WSJ, "Abortion, Guns and Trump: A Church Group Tries to Navigate America’s Divisions," 18 Dec. 2020 Some of Trump's longtime advisers, including Kellyanne Conway, lament that the president has not been able to use these final weeks to burnish his legacy., "Trump isolated, angry at aides for not defending him," 13 Jan. 2021 The peril of ignorance is a perennial American lament. Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, "Pulling Our Politics Back from the Brink," 9 Nov. 2020 Some investors, including prominent figures such as Dave Portnoy, used the spaces to tout gains and lament losses. Caitlin Mccabe, WSJ, "New Army of Individual Investors Flexes Its Muscle," 30 Dec. 2020 Retail investors led the dramatic equity market recovery from the Covid-19 shock, flooding internet message boards to share memes, boast of wins and lament losses. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "The Capital Letter: Week of November 30," 4 Dec. 2020 Wonder’s lament is the wrong song when the politics of hatred rule. Armond White, National Review, "Stevie Wonder’s Wrong Song," 25 Nov. 2020

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 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lament.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

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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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Comments on lament

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