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

Then Epps used her time to lament the slow pace of gun control legislation since Sept. 11, 2001. NBC News, "Mourners use reading of 9/11 victims' names to criticize Rep. Omar and decry gun violence," 11 Sep. 2019 However, Hyde but lamented the message such incidents broadcast about the team. Jon Meoli,, "Orioles’ Brandon Hyde: Recent dugout altercations distract from ‘the culture that we really feel good about’," 30 Aug. 2019 As recently as this week, Long lamented punts being dropped in practice. San Diego Union-Tribune, "5 Things to Watch: Weber State at Aztecs," 30 Aug. 2019 Ricker lamented persistent achievement gaps between whites and students of color, which did not change last year. Josh Verges, Twin Cities, "Math scores keep falling in Minnesota schools, even as graduation rates climb," 29 Aug. 2019 News that the historic high-rise that once housed the Nix Hospital maternity ward is up for sale caused many a San Antonian of a certain age to lament that the downtown hospital where they were born will be no more. Richard A. Marini,, "For decades, Nix was San Antonio’s elite ’09 hospital," 9 Aug. 2019 The Marine Corps lamented the loss of firepower, which left the Mk 45 5-inch guns mounted on guided missile cruisers and destroyers as the only guns in the fleet available to support seaborne invasions. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Everything We Know About the USS Zumwalt Destroyers," 5 Aug. 2019 Residents lamented how a wholesome family gathering known for bringing people together through traditions like Garlic Ice Cream was torn apart by gunfire., "3 killed in Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting, including 6-year-old," 29 July 2019 The United States, which was not a co-sponsor of the conference, was barely mentioned except to lament how President Donald Trump often disparages the press. Hadas Gold, CNN, "UK and Canada will give millions to global media defense fund," 10 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 His wife is on him to tone it down, plus free-throw groaning and rebound laments are pretty tame. Carolyn Hax, The Seattle Times, "Worried that her husband’s decision to order a burger could be a sign of dementia," 24 July 2018 Some lament alterations to the contemporary confirmation process. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "Republicans, Democrats look to use Kavanaugh nomination as weapon in midterm fight," 21 July 2018 Climate hawks lament that in the decade since, actual implementation of climate policies has stalled. Kelsey Brugger, Scientific American, "Alaska Wants to Fight Warming While Still Drilling for Oil," 12 July 2018 The tabloids reported on it with a mix of smug derision and hollow lament. Josie Duffy Rice, The Atlantic, "The Gospel According to Pusha T," 12 July 2018

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

20 Sep 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

What made you want to look up lament? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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