The child started wailing after she stumbled and fell.
A saxophone wailed in the background.
“No! I don't want to go!” he wailed.
She wailed that the vacation was ruined. Noun
the wail of a siren
a prolonged wail arose from every corner of the city as the victims of the earthquake were unearthed from the rubble See More
Recent Examples on the Web
One man, standing over the bodies of two young boys, wailed in grief.—Yousur Al-Hlou, New York Times, 18 Oct. 2023 On Saturday, as air raid sirens wailed nonstop, Israel scrambled to open bomb shelters, call up thousands of reservists and redirect dozens of units to the southern border.—Miriam Berger, Washington Post, 7 Oct. 2023 As a member of One Direction and solo artist, Louis Tomlinson has seen more tears and wailing than a veteran midwife.—Lars Brandle, Billboard, 26 Oct. 2023 About 3,000 revelers were still awake around 6:30 a.m. Saturday when sirens wailed, cutting off the psy-trance music pulsing in a desert field near the Gaza border.—Alyssa Lukpat, WSJ, 10 Oct. 2023 While this might not seem like a big deal, anyone who’s experienced a hungry infant screaming in their ear knows that every second counts from the first hunger wails to filling those little bellies.—Dorian Smith-Garcia, Parents, 18 Sep. 2023 Fire trucks, ambulances and police cars were streaming into the parking lot, sirens wailing.—Maggie Prosser, Dallas News, 14 Sep. 2023 The occasional sound of somebody wailing punctuates the near silence.—Stuart Ramsay, NBC News, 11 Sep. 2023 His latest tech house weapon is loaded with simply cool sounds, from the skittering synth to the growling bassline to a hectic build and a drop that’s equal parts wailing vocal and car alarm.—Katie Bain, Billboard, 6 Oct. 2023
With every death, the women of the house, in white gloves and veils, ran between the battlefield and the tents emitting wails of sorrow into a loudspeaker.—Aatish Taseer, New York Times, 9 Nov. 2023 As everyone watched the show, lightning bolts seemed to come down when the music would swell to a climax, underscoring Adrienne Lenker’s impassioned wails and giving the whole night a mystical feeling.—Julia Carmel, Los Angeles Times, 28 Sep. 2023 The piercing wail of ambulances, their red and blue lights flashing, announced the arrival of Samira Ayoub and her three granddaughters: fourteen-year-old Rimas, twelve-year-old Talin, and the youngest, Layan, just ten years old.—Rania Abouzeid, The New Yorker, 10 Nov. 2023 But where road and city meet, romance ends — in twisted metal, the wail of emergency vehicles and, far too often, blood and fire and death.—Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times, 26 Oct. 2023 The noise is hard to talk over at full wail, but the sounds are comfortable at cruising speeds.—Frank Markus, Car and Driver, 1 Aug. 2023 The wails of an agonized mother cut through the room.—Emily Opilo, Baltimore Sun, 13 Sep. 2023 The two move in together to care for the baby, whose haunting wails fill the tiny and decrepit apartment.—Claudia Guthrie, ELLE, 29 Aug. 2023 His voice, a blend of sad wail and smooth croon, also endures as a distinctive, undiminished sound.—Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY, 26 June 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wail.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English weilen, waylen, perhaps modification (influenced by Middle English weilawei wellaway) of Old Norse væla, vāla to wail; akin to Old Norse vei woe — more at woe