lam·​en·​ta·​tion | \ ˌla-mən-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce lamentation (audio) \

Definition of lamentation

: an expression of sorrow, mourning, or regret : an act or instance of lamenting a song of lamentation … blending a lamentation over the effects of time with a kind of apologia for it.— Glen R. Brown

Synonyms & Antonyms for lamentation



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Examples of lamentation in a Sentence

bitter lamentations for the dead words spoken in lamentation for the dead
Recent Examples on the Web The epic ends with a trio of women’s voices—those of Hector’s wife, his mother, and Helen of Troy—lifted in lamentation. Daniel Mendelsohn, The New Yorker, 18 Oct. 2021 Petraeus, a military man steeped in Civil War history, also opined on former President Trump's lamentation over the removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, 10 Sep. 2021 Consider this an elegy for Roe vs. Wade, a lamentation for the impending death of a law that has enabled millions of American women over the past half-century to control their bodies, their economic lives, their personal fates. Los Angeles Times, 7 Sep. 2021 The ululation at the beginning gives way to the spoken word feel of the rapping and a dirge-like lamentation sequence, all against the steady beat of the parai drums. Siva Sithraputhran, Fortune, 29 Mar. 2021 Not until the work's third movement did Ferree's instrument step forward to sing out its own lamentation. Rob Hubbard, Star Tribune, 22 Mar. 2021 In the background one of his young children, teething and not happy about it, offered wordless lamentation for extra tension. Michael Phillips,, 19 Nov. 2020 Sometimes, property losses (those resulting from failure to pay a valid debt) are the cause of lamentation and the rending of garments, and sometimes property losses (those imposed by criminal violence) are no big deal. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, 2 Sep. 2020 Mr Johnson’s declaration was met with lamentation from all sides, including Conservatives such as David Cameron, his predecessor-but-one as prime minister, and a bevy of Tory former ministers in charge of dispensing aid. The Economist, 20 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lamentation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lamentation

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of lamentation was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

25 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lamentation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for lamentation



English Language Learners Definition of lamentation

: an expression of great sorrow or deep sadness


lam·​en·​ta·​tion | \ ˌla-mən-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce lamentation (audio) \

Kids Definition of lamentation

1 : great sorrow
2 : an expression of great sorrow Mourners uttered lamentations.

More from Merriam-Webster on lamentation

Nglish: Translation of lamentation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lamentation for Arabic Speakers


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