plan·​gent | \ˈplan-jənt \

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

Did You Know?

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

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.

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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The first known use of plangent was in 1666

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English Language Learners Definition of plangent

of a sound : loud, deep, and often sad

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Comments on plangent

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something that serves to warn or remind

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