Definition of moan in English:

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Pronunciation: /mōn/


1A long, low sound made by a person expressing physical or mental suffering or sexual pleasure: she gave a low moan of despair
More example sentences
  • Her soft moans of pleasure were a welcome sound to his ears as his lips
  • They both let out soft moans as waves of pleasure coursed through their bodies.
  • Picking up his chopsticks eagerly, he took a bite and gave a low moan of pleasure at its delicious taste.
groan, wail, whimper, sob, cry
1.1A sound resembling this, especially one made by the wind: the moan of the wind in the chimneys
More example sentences
  • The lower notes especially sound like soft and breathy human or animal moans.
  • It's an assortment of squeaks, shuffles, buzzers, bells, beeps, blips, barks, sighs, moans, cries, and screams.
  • The room was empty and, except for the occasional moans of the wind, there was no sound.
sigh, murmur, sough
1.2 informal A complaint that is perceived as trivial and not taken seriously by others: there were moans about the car’s feeble ventilation
More example sentences
  • I'd love it if they'd put up a fight against his nomination, but I seriously doubt they will beyond a few moans and groans for theater.
  • When the draw was made it was met by a few moans and groans from the lads.
  • The pupils come to me with their moans and groans, but I have heard nothing regarding them being attacked.
complaint, complaining, grouse, grousing, grumble, grumbling, whine, whining, carping
informal gripe, griping, grouching, bellyaching, bitching, beef, beefing


[no object]
1Make a long, low sound expressing physical or mental suffering or sexual pleasure: just then their patient moaned and opened his eyes [with direct speech]: “Oh God,” I moaned
More example sentences
  • I don't think a web site has actually made me physically moan with anticipation and pleasure before now.
  • The mash had just the right amount of truffle oil and a general richness to make you moan with pleasure and the gravy was unbelievable.
  • Panforte, panettone and nougat to drool over and an Italian wine list to make oenophiles moan with pleasure.
1.1(Of a thing) make a sound resembling this: the foghorn moaned at intervals
More example sentences
  • Amongst these tables, were haphazardly scattered stools, many that moaned unsettlingly and pitched at various intervals.
  • She lay frozen on the bed for a moment, straining to hear, above the moaning of the wind, the human sounds that she knew must be present in the room.
  • Stopping and walking back, she opened the door which moaned in response.
sigh, murmur, sough
1.2 [reporting verb] informal Complain or grumble, typically about something trivial: [no object]: he joked and moaned about members of his family [with clause]: my husband moans that I’m not as slim as when we first met
More example sentences
  • I would suggest that there is more moaning and groaning than booing, and this is not just in the stands.
  • Ok, time to stop whingeing, moaning and complaining about my life, cause its not that bad.
  • However, I could hear ol Bessie moaning and groaning.
complain, grouse, grumble, whine, carp
informal gripe, grouch, bellyache, bitch, beef, kvetch
1.3 literary Lament.
Example sentences
  • When a young poet fails to find the words he can moan and wail and lament his wanton muse, gone off and left him bereft and lonesome.
  • And again there was weeping and moaning throughout the land for the hero was saddened by his friend's illness.



Pronunciation: /ˈmōnər/
Example sentences
  • The people that complained are just moaners who can't remember what it was like to be a child.
  • I know it must appear to many that us OAPs are a load of moaners and whingers but we should be judged in a much broader way, taking into account our whole lives.
  • If we are lucky some of them may return for an informal visit, but no thanks to those mentioned above or all the other pessimistic moaners who tried to rubbish the event.


Pronunciation: /-fəl/
Example sentences
  • She was making me laugh with her moanful weeping ‘Get the bullet out!’
  • Quite knocked the grumpy and moanful out of me, that did.
  • Suddenly he heard the howl of the creatures of hell and of the moanful chant of the dark figure coming closer to where he stood, which was enough to knock the lid of the red of his head.


Middle English (in the sense 'complaint or lamentation'): of unknown origin.

Words that rhyme with moan

alone, atone, Beaune, bemoan, blown, bone, Capone, clone, Cohn, Cologne, condone, cone, co-own, crone, drone, enthrone, flown, foreknown, foreshown, groan, grown, half-tone, home-grown, hone, Joan, known, leone, loan, lone, mephedrone, Mon, mown, ochone, outflown, outgrown, own, phone, pone, prone, Rhône, roan, rone, sewn, shown, Simone, Sloane, Soane, sone, sown, stone, strown, throne, thrown, tone, trombone, Tyrone, unbeknown, undersown, windblown, zone

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: moan

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