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[lam-uh n-tey-shuh n] /ˌlæm ənˈteɪ ʃən/
the act of lamenting or expressing grief.
a lament.
Lamentations, (used with a singular verb) a book of the Bible, traditionally ascribed to Jeremiah.
Abbreviation: Lam.
Origin of lamentation
1325-75; < Latin lāmentātiōn- (stem of lāmentātiō), equivalent to lāmentāt(us) (past participle of lāmentārī; see lament) + -iōn- -ion; replacing Middle English lamentacioun < Anglo-FrenchLatin, as above Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for lamentations
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She threatened the gallows, and handcuffs, and perpetual imprisonment, and an action for damages amidst her lamentations.

    The Way We Live Now Anthony Trollope
  • Bertha was loud in her lamentations over the disappearance of her cousin.

    Fairy Fingers Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
  • My good Roger, I weary you with my lamentations; but whom can we weary, if not our friends?

    The Cross of Berny Emile de Girardin
  • Lheureux burst into lamentations and reminded her of all the kindnesses he had shown her.

    Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
  • She almost hated him when she thought of going home to hear her mother's lamentations over her failure, and her sister's taunts.

    Little Golden's Daughter Mrs. Alex. McVeigh Miller
  • The goddess refused the refreshing mixture, and continued her lamentations.

    Religion and Lust James Weir
  • In an adjacent room were heard the sobbings and lamentations of women and children.

British Dictionary definitions for lamentations


noun (functioning as sing)
a book of the Old Testament, traditionally ascribed to the prophet Jeremiah, lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem
a musical setting of these poems


a lament; expression of sorrow
the act of lamenting
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 lamentations



Biblical book, late 14c., short for Lamentations of Jeremiah, from Latin Lamentationes, translating Greek Threnoi (see lamentation).



late 14c., from Old French lamentacion and directly from Latin lamentationem (nominative lamentatio) "wailing, moaning, weeping," noun of action from past participle stem of lamentari "to wail, moan, weep, lament," from lamentum "a wailing," from PIE root *la- "to shout, cry," probably ultimately imitative. Replaced Old English cwiþan.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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