- a prolonged, low, inarticulate sound uttered from or as if from physical or mental suffering.
- any similar sound: the moan of the wind.
- complaint or lamentation.
- to utter moans, as of pain or grief.
- (of the wind, sea, trees, etc.) to make any sound suggestive of such moans: The wind moaned through the trees.
- to utter (something) inarticulately or pitifully, as if in lamentation: He moaned his response.
- to lament or bemoan: to moan one's fate.
Origin of moan
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for moan
As much as customers love to moan about small, uncomfortable seats, the demand for them is higher than ever.Solution to Seat Rage: No More Reclining
September 4, 2014
And the best his Republican opponents can do is moan about Benghazi.Carter’s Belated Triumph
May 28, 2013
But, generally speaking, businesses scream and moan, react and innovate, and wind up in a better place.Don’t Cheap Out, Big Biz!
February 13, 2013
The low, dull, moan of the Sabbath siren lulls you into the 25-hour respite from modernity.Sheltered In Jerusalem
November 17, 2012
Copper mining is the most toxic form of metal mining in the United States, but you can only moan and groan about it so much.Copper, the Metal That Runs the World: ‘Boom, Bust, Boom,’ by Bill Carter
October 26, 2012
Before she had laughed at the weird complaining; now it sounded like a moan of misery.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
Not a sound was heard but the moan of an occasional gust of wind.Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood
The wood followed us with a moan which was gathering to a roar.Wilfrid Cumbermede
Let her moan and groan and sigh away there—what did it matter!Salted With Fire
Thereupon Macquart, seeing that he was about to be paid, began to moan.The Fortune of the Rougons
- a low prolonged mournful sound expressive of suffering or pleading
- any similar mournful sound, esp that made by the wind
- a grumble or complaint
- to utter (words) in a low mournful manner
- (intr) to make a sound like a moan
- (usually intr) to grumble or complain (esp in the phrase moan and groan)
Word Origin and History for moan
c.1200, "lamentation, mourning, weeping; complaining, the expressing of complaints; a complaint; lover's complaint; accusation, charge," probably from an unrecorded Old English *man "complaint," related to Old English mænan "complain, moan," also "tell, intend, signify" (see mean (v.1)); but OED discounts this connection. Meaning "long, low inarticulate murmur from some prolonged pain" is first recorded 1670s, "with onomatopoeic suggestion" [OED].
mid-13c., "mourn (someone); regret, bewail;" c.1300, "to lament, grieve; utter moans;" probably from Old English *manan, related to mænan "to lament" (see moan (n.)). From 1724 as "to make a low, mournful sound." Related: Moaned; moaning.