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[bih-weyl] /bɪˈweɪl/
verb (used with object)
to express deep sorrow for; lament:
a little child bewailing the loss of her dog.
verb (used without object)
to express grief.
Origin of bewail
Middle English word dating back to 1250-1300; See origin at be-, wail
Related forms
bewailingly, adverb
bewailment, noun
unbewailed, adjective
unbewailing, adjective
1. bemoan, mourn. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for bewail
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Yet not once in the course of that trip did he bewail his fate.

    The Forest Stewart Edward White
  • In women, it is reckoned becoming to bewail their loss; in men, to remember it.

  • When we argue that we weep the dead, it would be more true to say that we bewail the living.

    The Lion's Skin Rafael Sabatini
  • They did nothing but regret the past and bewail the present.

  • I ventured to bewail my fate a little, but that did not seem to advance my cause.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • Wit you well that ever will I bewail the death of my dear friend, Sir Gareth.

    King Arthur's Knights

    Henry Gilbert
  • And now that God has granted my prayer, I bewail His way of doing it.

    We Ten

    Lyda Farrington Kraus
  • Now they shout and cheer, now they lament and bewail, as loud as they can.

    German Culture Past and Present Ernest Belfort Bax
  • The gods will welcome me; there is nothing to bewail in death.

    Epic and Romance

    W. P. Ker
British Dictionary definitions for bewail


to express great sorrow over (a person or thing); lament
Derived Forms
bewailed, adjective
bewailer, noun
bewailing, noun, adjective
bewailingly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bewail

c.1300, from be- + wail (v.). Related: Bewailed; bewailing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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