wail

[ weyl ]
/ weɪl /

verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

to express deep sorrow for; mourn; lament; bewail: to wail the dead; to wail one's fate.
to express in wailing; cry or say in lamentation: to wail one's grief.

noun

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Origin of wail

1300–50; Middle English weile (verb and noun), perhaps derivative of Old English weilāwei wellaway; compare Old English wǣlan “to torment,” Old Norse wǣla “to wail”

OTHER WORDS FROM wail

wailer, nounwail·ing·ly, adverbun·wailed, adjectiveun·wail·ing, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH wail

wail , whale.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for wail

British Dictionary definitions for wail

wail
/ (weɪl) /

verb

(intr) to utter a prolonged high-pitched cry, as of grief or misery
(intr) to make a sound resembling such a crythe wind wailed in the trees
(tr) to lament, esp with mournful sounds

noun

a prolonged high-pitched mournful cry or sound

Derived forms of wail

wailer, nounwailful, adjectivewailfully, adverb

Word Origin for wail

C14: of Scandinavian origin; related to Old Norse vǣla to wail, Old English woe
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