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


groan, howl, keen, lament, moan, plaint, wail


exultation, rejoicing

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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

The Demon has the prince killed on the way to the wedding, and the entire second act is a lengthy party scene, its celebrations cut short by the news of the bridegroom’s demise, and then extended with repetitive lamentations. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘The Demon’ Review: Obsession and Seduction," 31 July 2018 Corker and Flake could’ve joined with their comrade-in-lamentations Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) to form a never-Trump caucus that effectively controlled the Senate. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The fall of the not-quite-Trumpers," 6 Nov. 2018 Then comes the rejoinder, a stirring lamentation from the trumpeter Marcus Wyatt, just as deflated, but refusing ennui. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "The Playlist: John Prine Comes Home, and 10 More New Songs," 9 Feb. 2018 And these lamentations about disrespect of the FBI and the intelligence services should stop. Conrad Black, National Review, "The Prosecution Is Weakening," 6 Feb. 2018 But after that four-game sweep ended with a 12-point win in Baltimore, the news stories the next day did not include lamentations about the competitiveness of the game, or concerns for the sport’s future. Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times, "The Warriors Were Dominant. But How Dominant?," 9 June 2018 The lamentations kept pouring in throughout the evening, including from the national Democratic campaign committees, MoveOn, Tom Steyer, and other political opportunists. Karl Rove, WSJ, "Whom Do Red-State Democrats Fear Most?," 11 July 2018 For this brief moment, every point of argument mattered, and no detail was too small for concern or lamentation. Constance Grady, Vox, "For Bloomsday, read the bizarrely fascinating story of a Joyce scholar who went missing," 16 June 2018 Coltrane’s lamentation for four black schoolgirls killed by the Ku Klux Klan in a 1963 church bombing. Bill Beuttler,, "In Terence Blanchard’s hands, a trumpet is an instrument of protest," 5 June 2018

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

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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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