lam·​en·​ta·​tion | \ ˌla-mən-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce lamentation (audio) \

Definition of lamentation

: an expression of sorrow, mourning, or regret : an act or instance of lamenting a song of lamentation … blending a lamentation over the effects of time with a kind of apologia for it.— Glen R. Brown

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Synonyms & Antonyms for lamentation



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Examples of lamentation in a Sentence

bitter lamentations for the dead words spoken in lamentation for the dead
Recent Examples on the Web In the background one of his young children, teething and not happy about it, offered wordless lamentation for extra tension. Michael Phillips,, "For Chicago’s movie theaters, particularly the Music Box Theatre, ‘the gloom and doom has returned.’ Welcome to the club.," 19 Nov. 2020 Sometimes, property losses (those resulting from failure to pay a valid debt) are the cause of lamentation and the rending of garments, and sometimes property losses (those imposed by criminal violence) are no big deal. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "A Clutch of Fools," 2 Sep. 2020 Mr Johnson’s declaration was met with lamentation from all sides, including Conservatives such as David Cameron, his predecessor-but-one as prime minister, and a bevy of Tory former ministers in charge of dispensing aid. The Economist, "A Boris bombshell in Whitehall British diplomats and donors are told to merge," 20 June 2020 Bryant’s legacy cut across multiple fields -- sports, entertainment, business -- and social media erupted with messages and lamentations. Eben Novy-williams,, "Kobe Bryant Dies in Helicopter Crash in California," 26 Jan. 2020 Flamenco is street opera; an ecstatic mode of complaint; lamentation, some say, straight from the cavelike forges of the Romany blacksmiths. James Parker, The Atlantic, "How Flamenco Went Pop," 21 Dec. 2019 Their one night off from their daughter’s deathbed, the true reason for the friends’ visit, had obviously been spent in lamentation. Lauren Groff, The Atlantic, "Birdie," 14 Jan. 2020 Her death drew an outpouring of admiration and lamentation from other Trek alums such as Michael Okuda and George Takei on social platforms and in public statements. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Star Trek writer and Hollywood trailblazer D.C. Fontana has died," 4 Dec. 2019 But the faces denied entrance are yours, the weak ones are yours, lamentations and anthems streaking through your veins, dark with sleet and thaw. Joanna Klink, The New Republic, "Night Sky," 3 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lamentation.' 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 lamentation

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for lamentation

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The first known use of lamentation was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Lamentation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for lamentation



English Language Learners Definition of lamentation

formal : an expression of great sorrow or deep sadness


lam·​en·​ta·​tion | \ ˌla-mən-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce lamentation (audio) \

Kids Definition of lamentation

1 : great sorrow
2 : an expression of great sorrow Mourners uttered lamentations.

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