Definition of wail in English:

wail

Line breaks: wail
Pronunciation: /weɪl
 
/

noun

1A prolonged high-pitched cry of pain, grief, or anger: Christopher let out a wail
More example sentences
  • Naaz Hosseini's voice slips from a serene hum to a full-throated wail to a sweet high-pitched lilt, flavored by her roots in Armenia and Persia.
  • A peacock's sharp wail pierced the music.
  • This is a column about New Labour's complete failure to publicise its many progressive achievements, while screeching out its reactionary policies in a ceaseless wail.
Synonyms
1.1A prolonged high-pitched sound: the wail of an air-raid siren
More example sentences
  • The end of the working day in the tea garden is marked by the wail of an air-raid siren.
  • She pressed her remote control gadget and the car burst into siren wails with lights flashing.
  • The pow-pow-pow of gunshots was a familiar sound, as was the wail of police sirens.

verb

[no object] Back to top  
1Utter a wail: Tina ran off wailing [with direct speech]: ‘But why?’ she wailed
More example sentences
  • Then more towers of smoke were climbing toward the sky; screams wailed across the fields.
  • She wailed something in a language I couldn't recognise and struck a pose.
  • I was standing in the cold, bare hallway of a hospital, listening to my child wail and scream from behind a closed door.
1.1Make a prolonged high-pitched sound: the wind wailed and buffeted the timber structure (as adjective wailing) wailing sirens
More example sentences
  • A horrible siren sound wailed across the boat and suddenly, men and weapons erupted on deck.
  • He really made that guitar wail, though.
  • If this had been a movie, there would have been a sax wailing in the background.
1.2 [with object] literary Manifest or feel deep sorrow for; lament: she wailed her wretched life
More example sentences
  • He wrenches his hands in agony, and again again looks up to heaven, wailing his fate.

Origin

Middle English: from Old Norse; related to woe.

Derivatives

wailer

noun
More example sentences
  • With a nod to the Faces, the Stones, James Brown and other legendary wailers, Foreman is a wiggly protagonist of modern day hot.
  • Hands down, she is one of the most riveting wailers around.
  • There will be many more wailers if plans go through to close Garda stations at night to put more members of the force on the streets.

wailful

adjective ( literary )
More example sentences
  • When Sidney wrote his sonnets she was in the prime of her beauty, and he may well have been sincere in deploring the loss of such a prize, and praying in wailful sonnets that he might continue to have a place in her affections.
  • It was obvious the ghost was heartbroken and she gave out a wailful cry to let the world know of her misery.
  • It was on such a night accompanied by such wailful sounds that my birthday arrived: sixty.

wailingly

adverb
More example sentences
  • They did this to me once before when they stopped making the colours of eye shadow that I had worn for 5 years - and when I wailingly told the shop girl this fact she said, ‘well its time for a change then isn't it?’
  • They were loud, wailingly loud, high pitched, moving up and down in a way that many people could not explain, sometimes going soft and then piercingly high and loud again.
  • It should be pointed out here that Totti was wailingly remorseful about it all: so much so that he took refuge in the third person, never a good sign.

Definition of wail in:

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