Definition of plangent in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈplan(d)ʒ(ə)nt/


chiefly literary
(Of a sound) loud and resonant, with a mournful tone: the plangent sound of a harpsichord
More example sentences
  • In outline, his play sounds like plangent melodrama.
  • The blend of music theatrical ebullience, popular styles, and evocative, plangent tone pictures about the legendary 4th century saint evinces much of the best of his early style.
  • He has a rather different sort of voice, just as well-schooled but with a juicier, more plangent tone that he uses to achieve the expressive effects and vocal colors that make his style so arresting.
melancholy, mournful, plaintive;
sonorous, reverberant, reverberating, resonant, loud



Pronunciation: /ˈplan(d)ʒ(ə)nsi/
Example sentences
  • The deep breaths exhaled by his broad lines, his declarative sentences and their assertive plangency, his deliberate tactlessness and brave humor, redirect the reader to a history of poetic Yanks: Whitman, Williams.
  • She had a slight catch, a touch of sympathy-arousing plangency, in her voice, and a vulnerable presence that cried out for protection; Birdsong sounds like a typical lounge singer, and comes across as a bit of a bruiser to boot.
  • Theatricality rather than reality is the keynote of his production, a point symbolised by the constant background music of Latenas Faustas, which varies from fairground jauntiness to pianistic plangency.


Example sentences
  • He was lecturing American editors the other day and observing plangently that ‘we're more trusted by the people who aren't reading us'.
  • In London, in 1951, a little girl skips past an undertaker's hearse in the fog, and you know that the whole of her life is being plangently prefigured.
  • A plangently beautiful, one-off version of Annensky called ‘Black Spring’ merits quoting in full, but I will give just five lines of it.


Early 19th century: from Latin plangent- 'lamenting', from the verb plangere.

  • plaintive from Late Middle English:

    Plaintive comes via Old French plainte ‘lamentation’, from Latin plangere ‘to beat, lament’. The legal plaintiff (Late Middle English) is the same word used as a noun. Plangere also gives us Late Middle English complain (the com- being emphatic), and plangent (early 19th century).

Words that rhyme with plangent

cotangent, tangent

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: plan|gent

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