plangent

adjective
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

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 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, 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, 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, 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.

See More

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

Learn More About plangent

Time Traveler for plangent

Time Traveler

The first known use of plangent was in 1666

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About plangent

Dictionary Entries Near plangent

plangency

plangent

plangi

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for plangent

Last Updated

14 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Plangent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plangent. Accessed 22 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for plangent

plangent

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of plangent

: loud, deep, and often sad

More from Merriam-Webster on plangent

Nglish: Translation of plangent for Spanish Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!