verb (used without object)

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.

verb (used with object)

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

1175–1225; Middle English mone, man(e) (noun), Old English *mān, inferred from its derivative mǣnan to mourn
Related formsmoan·ful, adjectivemoan·ful·ly, adverbmoan·ing·ly, adverbun·moaned, adjectiveun·moan·ing, adjective

Synonyms for moan

1. See groan. 4. grieve. 4, 7. mourn. 7. deplore. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for moaned

sob, wail, sigh, carp, grumble, gripe, mourn, grieve, bewail, grouse, lament, whine, bemoan, keen, deplore

Examples from the Web for moaned

Contemporary Examples of moaned

Historical Examples of moaned

  • "God give that that has not befallen her," moaned Professor Maxon.

    The Monster Men

    Edgar Rice Burroughs

  • She rocked back and forth in her chair, and moaned a little to herself.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • "I dunno what Jonathan'll do without that clock," moaned the old lady.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • She had moaned (as he expressed it) and since then had not been herself.

    Father Sergius

    Leo Tolstoy

  • But Pete moaned and turned his head from side to side with his last strength.

    Louisiana Lou

    William West Winter

British Dictionary definitions for moaned



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)
Derived Formsmoaner, nounmoanful, adjectivemoaning, noun, adjectivemoaningly, adverb

Word Origin for moan

C13: related to Old English mǣnan to grieve over
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 moaned



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper