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

Walsh said, while also lamenting his own racist statements in the past. David Meyer, Fortune, "A Stagflationary Shock: CEO Daily," 26 Aug. 2019 Many lamented the high prices and the lack of healthy options. Andrea Whittle, Condé Nast Traveler, "In the Battle of Hudson News Versus Willpower, Hudson News Always Wins," 19 July 2019 This isn't the first time Caroline has jokingly lamented about her kids on social media. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Luke Bryan Fans Are "Heartbroken" After His Wife Caroline Posts Video of Her Son Refusing to Hold Her Hand," 24 June 2019 Included with the yearly membership fee, the NES options were interesting, but fans had lamented the lack of newer titles and representation for other consoles. Brittany Vincent, Popular Mechanics, "There’s Never Been a Better Time to Be a Nintendo Fan Than Now," 5 Sep. 2019 In letting Pantaleo go, O’Neill had betrayed all New York cops, Lynch lamented. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "New Yorkers Should Thank Police for the Summer “Slowdown”," 30 Aug. 2019 In recent social media posts, area residents and longtime patrons have lamented the loss of tenants such as Ceriello Fine Foods, an Italian market, and Ryan’s Daughter restaurant and expressed concern about others possibly leaving. Lorraine Mirabella,, "Concern grows about Belvedere Square’s future as North Baltimore neighborhood anchor," 23 July 2019 For instance, in the lengthy Bleacher Report article, FSU’s administration lamented the academic deficiencies and discipline issues Jimbo had at FSU. Mike Bianchi,, "FSU administrators need to look in the mirror before blaming Jimbo Fisher for everything | Commentary," 15 July 2019 In an interview for a lengthy story about Perry in June 2018, Roach lamented the lack of an early-warning system for detecting officers with behavioral problems. Ryan Martin, Indianapolis Star, "Unarmed man shot in back by IMPD officer settles lawsuit for millions," 11 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Skip to main content (Photo: Handout, Getty Images) Chrissy Teigen just shared an age-old lament. Sonja Haller, USA TODAY, "Chrissy Teigen laments being her family's 'designated photo taker.' Moms so relate," 25 Aug. 2019 While many in the West ponder their own politics and lament the supposed erosion of their freedoms, the people of Hong Kong are engaged in a real struggle for their human rights against the world’s biggest authoritarian power. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "Hong Kong’s Flickering Hopes for Freedom," 21 June 2019 This issue isn’t isolated to The Denver Post; 9News reporter Jeremy Jojola took to Twitter last week to lament being asked to pay more than $600 for records about affordable housing. The Denver Post Editorial Board, The Denver Post, "Editorial: Fees are shutting down access to open records in Colorado," 4 Sep. 2019 Since the renderings were posted on the city website last week, local residents have taken to Facebook to lament or extol the proposals. Daily Pilot, "Laguna Beach gets first look at plans for Museum and Cleo hotels," 9 Aug. 2019 This could, particularly in the current climate, be viewed as a lament for outsiders and the ignored. Joey Nolfi,, "Joaquin Phoenix earns rave Joker reviews at Venice Film Festival," 31 Aug. 2019 Within 23 minutes, Bea subverts every trope of an awkward group lunch, adding impromptu singing interludes, cultural in-jokes, and an older man’s lament about Instagram. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "This Way Up Is a Bountiful Binge Watch," 22 Aug. 2019 Harry Nilsson's take on this 1967 lament by Fred Neil became the unofficial theme for Midnight Cowboy, and through that seminal film became a monster hit, his first top 10 on the Hot 100. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 100 Best Songs of 1969: Staff Picks," 14 Aug. 2019 Snippets of funereal free-jazz laments pop up with horns and surging drums. John Adamian,, "Brazilian pop star Sessa at the State House," 28 June 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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Statistics for lament

Last Updated

18 Oct 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

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to be made up of

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