verb (used with object)

to express distress or grief over; lament: to bemoan one's fate.
to regard with regret or disapproval.

Origin of bemoan

before 1000; be- + moan; replacing bemene, Middle English bimenen, Old English bimǣnan (bi- be- + mǣnan to moan)
Related formsbe·moan·ing·ly, adverbun·be·moaned, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for bemoan

mourn, deplore, regret, lament, bewail, complain, rue

Examples from the Web for bemoan

Contemporary Examples of bemoan

  • They bemoan the fact that poker games are too often delayed because people get up to take smoke breaks.

  • He will then bemoan a vague “lack of political will” or “absence of leadership” as the reason for the inertia.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The GOP vs. Democracy

    Michael Tomasky

    June 24, 2011

  • But some bemoan the way the kids have transformed their city, and nowhere is that change more visible than The Bywater.

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    Yale Crusaders Invade New Orleans

    Nicole LaPorte

    August 21, 2010

  • Not to mention the fragrant Ms. Hasselbeck bemoan the fact that we now live in the "divided states of America."

    The Daily Beast logo
    Obama's Televised Turn-Off

    Tunku Varadarajan

    July 29, 2010

  • I just heard Anderson Cooper bemoan the fact that he had seen no heavy earth moving equipment on the scene.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Inside Haiti's Horror

    The Daily Beast

    January 13, 2010

Historical Examples of bemoan

British Dictionary definitions for bemoan



to grieve over (a loss, etc); mourn; lament (esp in the phrase bemoan one's fate)

Word Origin for bemoan

Old English bemǣnan; see be-, moan
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

Word Origin and History for bemoan

Old English bemænan "to bemoan, wail, lament;" see be- + moan (v.). Related: Bemoaned; bemoaning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper