Definition of lament in English:


Line breaks: la¦ment
Pronunciation: /ləˈmɛnt


  • 1A passionate expression of grief or sorrow: his mother’s night-long laments for his father [mass noun]: a song full of lament and sorrow
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    • Dusty stood it on its head and made it a passionate lament of loneliness and love.
    • An assessment of great music should allow for a wider variety of moods and expressions - lament, meander, laughter, rage, gallows humor, resignation, and much more.
    • Cleopatra's response, though, suggests that she too intends suicide, and she confirms this in the passionate lament that follows his death.
  • 1.1A song, piece of music, or poem expressing grief or sorrow: the piper played a lament
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    • His music, comprising mostly songs, dance-tunes, laments, and some religious pieces, draws upon native tradition but was also influenced by European composers such as Vivaldi and Corelli.
    • Starting as a melancholic lament, the music slowly intruded into the action and eventually drowned out the longer speeches.
    • The show is packed full of stirring anthems, plaintive laments and unforgettable love songs sung by a first-class cast and backed by the Lyric Opera Orchestra.
    dirge, requiem, elegy, funeral song/chant, burial hymn, dead march, keen, plaint, knell; Scottish coronach
  • 2A complaint: there were constant laments about the conditions of employment
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    • The same lament about constant meddling from politicians could be applied to education where since the eighties there has been reform followed by contradictory reform.
    • His constant lament was that the Tamil stage had not come of age.
    • Old-timers may find support for their constant laments that the game is steadily going downhill by citing the glittering example of 19th Century owner Chris Von der Ahe.


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  • 2 [reporting verb] Express regret or disappointment about something: [with object]: she lamented the lack of shops in the town [with direct speech]: ‘We could have won,’ lamented the England captain
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    • The writer of the 1868 report lamented, ‘I regret that so few find their way into the Bible class.’
    • ‘This was my seventh Challenge and I've come near each time, but never been a winner,’ a disappointed Smith lamented.
    • For years, dive operators and visitors to Phuket have lamented that the area lacked a decent sized wreck.
    bemoan, bewail, complain about, deplore, regret, rue; protest against, speak out against, object to, oppose, disagree with, fulminate against, inveigh against, rail at, make a fuss about, denounce



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  • The Quivering presents three women in the roles of carer, siren and cultural lamenter - whatever that means!


late Middle English (as a verb): from French lamenter or Latin lamentari, from lamenta (plural) 'weeping, wailing'.

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