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

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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 The Big Play: Resuscitating the running game has been a theme in Fort Foxborough this week, with offensive line alchemist Dante Scarnecchia lamenting the team’s rushing struggles., "in Fort Foxborough this week, with offensive line alchemist Dante Scarnecchia lamenting the team’s rushing struggles.," 31 Oct. 2019 In a 2016 interview with the Associated Press, Murray lamented the number of bankruptcies in the coal industry and how his competitors were able to shed debt and re-enter the market. CBS News, "Coal giant Murray Energy, major Trump backer, files for bankruptcy protection," 29 Oct. 2019 In hushed conversations over the past week, GOP senators lamented that the fast-expanding probe is fraying their party, which remains completely in Trump’s grip. Philip Rucker, The Denver Post, "Republicans feel anxious and adrift defending Trump," 28 Oct. 2019 The story opens with playwright Sidney Bruhl lamenting his lack of recent success. Matthew J. Palm,, "At Garden Theatre, aging ‘Deathtrap’ can still find the thrills | Review," 17 Oct. 2019 But growth has slowed significantly, with Premier Li Keqiang lamenting that even 6% growth will be a struggle for this year. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "Blow Out the Candles: China at 70 — The Loop," 1 Oct. 2019 On the trail, Warren often touts her anti-corruption plan as the most sweeping since Watergate — before lamenting that D.C. needs the most sweeping set of reforms since Watergate. NBC News, "Trump trip to New Mexico highlights his border state problems," 16 Sep. 2019 From Concord to Sunnyvale and locations in other states, visitors to Fry’s are lamenting the lack of items at their stores. Levi Sumagaysay, The Mercury News, "Fry’s tries to quell rumors of its demise as customers worry about empty shelves," 10 Sep. 2019 Both were insanely great bargains compared to their usual price, so our readers will soon be enjoying whiter smiles without lamenting their lighter wallets. 4. Samantha Gordon, USA TODAY, "The 10 most popular products our readers bought on Prime Day," 16 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun His opponents, rightly appalled, lament what has happened to their country. The Economist, "The White House ditches half a century of immigration law," 20 July 2019 Upset Dear Upset: I was also struck by this woman's lament -- and her lack of perspective. Ask Amy, al, "Ask Amy: Greedy houseguest figures out where she went wrong," 22 May 2019 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

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

15 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Lament.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for lament


How to pronounce lament (audio)

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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