\ ˈmōn How to pronounce moan (audio) \

Definition of moan

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : lamentation, complaint … made a great moan if he had to work …— D. H. Lawrence
2 : a low prolonged sound of pain or of grief a moan of distress


moaned; moaning; moans

Definition of moan (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to bewail audibly : lament
2 : to utter with moans

intransitive verb

2a : to make a moan : groan
b : to emit a sound resembling a moan the wind moaned in the trees

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Other Words from moan


moaner \ ˈmō-​nər How to pronounce moaner (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for moan

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of moan in a Sentence

Noun She let out a long, deep moan. the moan of the wind the moan of the car's engine Verb The wounded soldier moaned in pain. He moaned with pleasure as she rubbed his back. We were all moaning about the cold, rainy weather. He's always moaning about his salary. The children were moaning and groaning all morning, but their mother would not let them go outside. I'm tired of all his moaning and groaning about his salary. “But I don't want to go,” moaned the boy. The wind moaned in the trees.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On the Volga a man started with valour and ended with a moan, which is called a song. The Economist, "Siberia is an empty land filled with contradictions," 21 Dec. 2019 In precious passages of mild drama, Malone pushes his voice to a ragged, melodic moan of the sort that was common from ’90s bands impersonating Nirvana. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Post Malone Is the Voice of Modern Brain Fog," 9 Sep. 2019 Background voices – moans, murmurs, sighs – emerge and recede as if from a dream. Greg Kot,, "Album review wrap-up: Nick Cave transforms, the Highwomen rise, Tool returns, and more," 9 Oct. 2019 Breitensträter attacked first, and the moan turned into a rumble of delight. Jennifer Wilson, The New Republic, "Vladimir Nabokov’s Fighting Spirit," 10 Dec. 2019 The moans and whispers of the other prisoners had quieted, like the calm before a storm. David Canfield,, "Read an excerpt from Blood Heir, the year's most controversial YA novel," 17 Oct. 2019 The sound from fans in Wrigleyville were moans as the Chicago faithful felt a collective gut-punch in knowing that their team’s season will likely end without a playoff berth. Tim Brown, oregonlive, "Chicago Cubs vs St. Louis Cardinals: Live score updates, TV channel, how to watch free live stream online," 22 Sep. 2019 Shortly thereafter, another interruption followed by an abrupt recess when a spectator in the back row of the court made loud moans and fell over. Amber Ali, CBS News, "Roger Stone leaves first day of trial due to food poisoning," 6 Nov. 2019 In a situation of great tension, the imagination could amplify the slightest of noises to a blood-chilling moan. Oscar Urbiola, National Geographic, "How did 18th-century vampire hunters identify the undead? Blood and fingernails," 29 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Chief Deputy Coroner Bill Yates said Green’s friends heard him moaning and went to check on him. Carol Robinson |, al, "Family sought for 2 men found dead in their Birmingham homes earlier this month," 30 Dec. 2019 Watch a few how-to YouTube videos and learn to cluck and moan. Jace Bauserman, Field & Stream, "Three Keys to Fooling Late-Season Canada Geese," 2 Jan. 2020 So while many are eagerly awaiting that extra hour of sleep coming when daylight saving time ends Nov. 3, those with young children in the house are moaning collective sighs — not us. Amy Haneline, USA TODAY, "Daylight saving time can be hard on kids. Here's how parents can help," 1 Nov. 2019 The man was in a hotel room and had been moaning and flailing around, according to a witness. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, "Suspected burglar leads police on high speed vehicle chase; Cleveland man arrested after disturbance in library: Brook Park police blotter," 29 Nov. 2019 Android users are groaning and websites are moaning, but first: a cartoon about what to do with a broken laptop. Wired, "146 New Android Bugs, an Audio Porn Streaming Site, and More News," 15 Nov. 2019 Shortly after jury selection began, the courtroom had to be cleared for more than a half hour when a man sitting in the back row moaned loudly and collapsed on the floor. Ashraf Khalil,, "Roger Stone leaves Day 1 of trial early over food poisoning," 5 Nov. 2019 One of the few authentically English moments comes in episode five, when Basheer (Guz Khan), rushing to hospital after his friend threw a punch in a club, starts to moan about car-parking charges. T.r., The Economist, "Did “Four Weddings and a Funeral” need updating?," 12 Aug. 2019 Bailey collapsed moaned on the ground as officers searched for a gun and tried to provide medical aid. Sam Tabachnik, The Denver Post, "Raw body-camera footage of the fatal Colorado Springs police shooting of De’Von Bailey released," 15 Nov. 2019

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for moan

Noun and Verb

Middle English mone, from Old English *mān

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Time Traveler for moan

Time Traveler

The first known use of moan was in the 13th century

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Statistics for moan

Last Updated

8 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Moan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for moan


How to pronounce moan (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of moan

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a long, low sound that someone makes because of pain, unhappiness, or physical pleasure
: a long, low sound
British, informal : a complaint about something



English Language Learners Definition of moan (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make a long, low sound because of pain, unhappiness, or physical pleasure
: to express unhappiness about something
: to say (something) in a way that shows pain or unhappiness


\ ˈmōn How to pronounce moan (audio) \

Kids Definition of moan

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a long low sound showing pain or grief
2 : a long low sound the engine's moan


moaned; moaning

Kids Definition of moan (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to utter a long low sound

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More from Merriam-Webster on moan

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for moan

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with moan

Spanish Central: Translation of moan

Nglish: Translation of moan for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of moan for Arabic Speakers

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