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verb (used with object)
  1. to feel or express sorrow or regret for: to lament his absence.
  2. to mourn for or over.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to feel, show, or express grief, sorrow, or regret.
  2. to mourn deeply.
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  1. an expression of grief or sorrow.
  2. a formal expression of sorrow or mourning, especially in verse or song; an elegy or dirge.
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Origin of lament

1520–30; (noun) < Latin lāmentum plaint; (v.) < Latin lāmentārī, derivative of lāmentum
Related formsla·ment·er, nounla·ment·ing·ly, adverb


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for lament


  1. to feel or express sorrow, remorse, or regret (for or over)
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  1. an expression of sorrow
  2. a poem or song in which a death is lamented
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Derived Formslamenter, nounlamentingly, adverb

Word Origin

C16: from Latin lāmentum
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 lament


mid-15c., back-formation from lamentation or else from Middle French lamenter "to moan, bewail" (14c.) and directly from Latin lamentari, from lamentum (see lamentation). Related: Lamented; lamenting.

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1590s, from Middle French lament and directly from Latin lamentum (see lamentation).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper