plan·​gent | \ ˈplan-jənt How to pronounce plangent (audio) \

Definition of plangent

1 : having a loud reverberating sound a plangent roar
2 : having an expressive and especially plaintive quality plangent lyrics

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Other Words from plangent

plangently adverb

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Plangent adds power to our poetry and prose: the pounding of waves, the beat of wings, the tolling of a bell, the throbbing of the human heart, a lover's knocking at the door - all have been described as plangent. The word plangent traces back to the Latin verb plangere, which has two meanings. The first of those meanings, "to strike or beat," was sometimes used by Latin speakers in reference to striking one's breast in grief. This, in turn, led to the verb's second meaning: "to lament." The sense division carried over to the Latin adjective plangens and then into English, giving us the two distinct meanings of "plangent": "pounding" and "expressive of melancholy."

Examples of plangent in a Sentence

a plangent, haunting song about a long-ago love plangent organ music filled the church
Recent Examples on the Web The piercing sense of place that Samuel D. Hunter brings to his work, the majority of it set in his home state of Idaho, has perhaps never been accompanied by such plangent notes of sorrow as in his new play, Greater Clements. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Greater Clements': Theater Review," 10 Dec. 2019 Image The pool party is a squirmy tour de force embellished with a punctuating zoom and a plangent sense of dread that make Kayla’s isolation feel like alienation. Bo Burnham, New York Times, "Review: All the Feels, Hurts and Laughs of ‘Eighth Grade’," 11 July 2018 Though a handful of tracks feature plangent cello by Katinka Kleijn (a member of the CSO and ICE), who shades the chord changes and enriches the interplay, most of the album is just two guitars ringing out with relaxed, natural beauty. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "Guitarists and pals pull their individual aesthetics closer together on their second collaborative album," 12 Oct. 2017

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

1666, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for plangent

Latin plangent-, plangens, present participle of plangere to strike, lament — more at plaint

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Time Traveler for plangent

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The first known use of plangent was in 1666

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Cite this Entry

“Plangent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce plangent (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of plangent

formal + literary, of a sound : loud, deep, and often sad

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Nglish: Translation of plangent for Spanish Speakers

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