plaintive was our Word of the Day on 09/20/2010. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of plaintive in a Sentence
We could hear the plaintive cry of a wounded animal in the woods.
the puppy's plaintive expression after we put the toy away was rather amusing
Recent Examples of plaintive from the Web
But from her apartment in Harlem on June 5, 1945, Phyllis C. Dickson wrote a plaintive letter to the War Department about her missing husband.
By Carrie Arnold PUBLISHED April 3, 2018 In the never-ending symphony of the sea, there's a standout among the percussive pings of bottlenose dolphins and the plaintive calls of humpback whales.
Carrabba's expressive voice and plaintive lyrics are both the constant and the key.
At the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C. the posters proffered by protesters ranged from the plaintive (How Many More?
A day after news of the suit broke, Gaines tweeted a plaintive Bible verse.
Later, when Pickett was given the traditional radio sign off for fallen officers, the silence at the end of the unanswered call was eventually broken, punctuated by the plaintive barks of a dog.
She’s supported by a subtly inconspicuous band on her debut album, with the other musicians mostly staying out of the way of her precise playing and plaintive vocals.
Dug’s wild boar buddy Hognob, voiced by director Park, steals the show with his little grunts of surprise and plaintive howls.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plaintive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Like its relative "plangent," "plaintive" is often used to describe sad sounds. "A plaintive wail," for example, is a common use. "Plaintive" and "plangent" (along with relatives "plaintiff" and "complain") ultimately derive from the Latin verb plangere, meaning "to strike," "to beat one's breast," or "to lament." This Latin verb led to "plaint," an Anglo-French word (and now also an English word) meaning "lamentation." "Plaint" is the root of Middle English "plaintif" (meaning "lamenting" or "complaining"), which gave rise to "plaintive" as well as the noun "plaintiff."
aching, agonized, anguished, bemoaning, bewailing, bitter, deploring, doleful, dolorous, funeral, grieving, heartbroken, lamentable, lugubrious, mournful, plangent, regretful, rueful, sorrowful, sorry, wailing, weeping, woeful;
black, bleak, cheerless, comfortless, dark, darkening, desolate, dismal, dreary, funereal, gloomy, glum, gray (also grey), joyless, low, miserable, moody, morbid, morose, pathetic, pessimistic, piteous, saturnine, somber (or sombre), sullen;
PLAINTIVE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of plaintive for English Language Learners
: expressing suffering or sadness : having a sad sound
PLAINTIVE Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up plaintive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).