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[pleynt] /pleɪnt/
a complaint.
Law. a statement of grievance made to a court for the purpose of asking redress.
a lament; lamentation.
Origin of plaint
1175-1225; Middle English < Middle French < Latin planctus a striking or beating (the breast) in grief, equivalent to plang(ere) to beat, strike, mourn for + -tus, suffix of v. action Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for plaint
Historical Examples
  • "This plaint is thine, as I learn, brother Ambrose," said he.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The plaint of the gravel travelled slowly all round the drive.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • The intonation of the Ungava Eskimos, particularly the women, is like a plaint.

    The Long Labrador Trail Dillon Wallace
  • He filled the place with his plaint, whilst Binet swore amazingly and variedly.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • I have taken the liberty to give as a title for it "The plaint of the Merrimac."

    Whittier-land Samuel T. Pickard
  • The scene opens with the plaint of Mary Magdalene, "Where have they laid him?"

    The Standard Oratorios George P. Upton
  • He caressed words until they sang for him the one plaint that he asked of them.

    Adventures in the Arts Marsden Hartley
  • Only the lonely pillow and the midnight hour shall hear my plaint.

    Mary Ware's Promised Land Annie Fellows Johnston
  • All through the town was heard the plaint of the feminine jabber.

  • Joyful our peal for the bridal; mournful our plaint for the dead.

    The Worship of the Church

    Jacob A. Regester
British Dictionary definitions for plaint


(archaic) a complaint or lamentation
(law) a statement in writing of grounds of complaint made to a court of law and asking for redress of the grievance
Word Origin
C13: from Old French plainte, from Latin planctus lamentation, from plangere to beat
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 plaint

"expression of sorrow," c.1200, from Old French plainte "lament, lamentation" (12c.), from Latin planctus "lamentation, wailing, beating of the breast," from past participle stem of plangere "to lament, to strike" (see plague (n.)). Connecting notion probably is beating one's breast in grief.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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