[lam-uh n-tey-shuh n]


the act of lamenting or expressing grief.
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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lamentations

Contemporary Examples of lamentations

Historical Examples of lamentations

  • The seaman and travelers awaited their end with lamentations.

  • The tears and lamentations in the drawing-room were irresistible.

    The Memoirs of the Louis XIV. and The Regency, Complete

    Elizabeth-Charlotte, Duchesse d'Orleans

  • Her days and nights were passed in lamentations, tears, and prayers.

    King Philip

    John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

  • The news he gave them was to be read in the lamentations with which they disturbed the morning air.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • No, certainly Uthoug junior had not come with lamentations and condolences.

    The Great Hunger

    Johan Bojer

British Dictionary definitions for lamentations


noun (functioning as singular)

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

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