plaintive was our Word of the Day on 09/20/2010. Hear the podcast!
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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
This is a plaintive group date, because Jason, Wills, and Leo are clearly such good friends.
His story, less visibly traumatic than Jason's, is more plaintive.
Lloyd complements Williams’s plaintive growl with his own tenor saxophone cries, in some cases the obbligatos becoming an ongoing commentary.
Such music is usually plaintive, nostalgic, seemingly simplistic, maudlin or sometimes just fringe complex and weird.
Buddy Guy plays 150 shows a year and releases a new album every 24 months, and his take on the blues, expressed through his plaintive voice and virtuosic guitar, is still scorching.
But with the rise of dockless bike share has come a new backlash, and critics are sounding plaintive warnings about the chaos caused by large quantities of untethered bicycles.
Chicago stage veteran Rondi Reed (a Tony winner for August: Osage County) stepped in, bringing expert comedic timing and plaintive humor to the innkeeper of Falstaff's favorite hangout, The Boar's Head.
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.
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
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