• synonyms


See more synonyms for plaint on Thesaurus.com
  1. a complaint.
  2. Law. a statement of grievance made to a court for the purpose of asking redress.
  3. a lament; lamentation.
Show More

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

Related Words

gripe, sigh, sob, whine, wail, complaint, indictment, allegation, criticism, grievance, objection, protest, accusation, charge, trouble, cry, grouse, beef, lament, grumble

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.

  • He filled the place with his plaint, whilst Binet swore amazingly and variedly.


    Rafael Sabatini

  • I have taken the liberty to give as a title for it "The Plaint of the Merrimac."


    Samuel T. Pickard

British Dictionary definitions for plaint


  1. archaic a complaint or lamentation
  2. law a statement in writing of grounds of complaint made to a court of law and asking for redress of the grievance
Show More

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

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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper