Definition of plangent
1 : having a loud reverberating sound a plangent roar
2 : having an expressive and especially plaintive quality plangent lyrics
plangent was our Word of the Day on 12/01/2010. Hear the podcast!
Examples of plangent in a sentence
a plangent, haunting song about a long-ago love
plangent organ music filled the church
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."
Origin and Etymology of plangent
Latin plangent-, plangens, present participle of plangere to strike, lament — more at plaint
First Known Use: 1666
PLANGENT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of plangent for English Language Learners
of a sound : loud, deep, and often sad
Seen and Heard
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