Word of the Day : February 22, 2018

plangent

play
adjective PLAN-junt

Definition

1 : having a loud reverberating sound

2 : having an expressive and especially plaintive quality

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

The campers were awoken by the plangent howl of a coyote off in the distance.

"The music makes for exciting listening and shows Britten's mastery of choral music with each movement a contrast to the next. The movements range from plainsong, to plangent solos, through smooth polyphony and sections with angular rhythms and harmonies." — The Mountain Democrat (Placerville, California), 1 Dec. 2017



Name That Synonym

Unscramble the letters to create a synonym of plangent that describes an echoing sound: ONERSTAN.

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