- to utter a prolonged, inarticulate, mournful cry, usually high-pitched or clear-sounding, as in grief or suffering: to wail with pain.
- to make mournful sounds, as music or the wind.
- to lament or mourn bitterly.
- Jazz. to perform exceptionally well.
- Slang. to express emotion musically or verbally in an exciting, satisfying way.
- 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.
- the act of wailing.
- a wailing cry, as of grief, pain, or despair.
- any similar mournful sound: the wail of an old tune.
Origin of wail
Related Wordsmoan, sob, fuss, whimper, grieve, mourn, weep, howl, bemoan, bewail, jowl, lament, repine, whine, bawl, bay, squall, keen, deplore, complain
Examples from the Web for wailed
As McSpadden wailed in grief, Head climbed on the hood of the car to console her.The Baptism of Michael Brown Sr. and Ferguson’s Baptism by Fire
November 27, 2014
Little Kristina wailed as she was taken out of sight of her mother; she has not been seen since.Amnesty Report: ISIS Committing Ethnic Cleansing on an Historic Scale
September 2, 2014
My chest pressed into the foot of the crib, arms outstretched through bars, I wailed at an open door to an empty staircase.‘Tracing the Blue Light’: Read Chapter 1 of Eileen Cronin’s ‘Mermaid’
April 8, 2014
Huddled in groups outside the storefronts, people chatted and waited, cried and wailed the names of the missing.‘It Sounded Like Someone Kicked My Door In’: The Disaster That Rocked East Harlem
March 12, 2014
Hippy said he pounded and shouted and howled and wailed and pounded some more.Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus
Jessie Graham Flower
"Oh, it makes me so lonesome when you sing that way," wailed the Little Colonel.
"But Papa Jack would die befo' he'd take help from you," she wailed.
The watchers wept and wailed at first, and then fell to eating and drinking.Welsh Fairy Tales
William Elliott Griffis
"Tom don' want to go to the poor-farm," he wailed piteously.The Village Watch-Tower
(AKA Kate Douglas Riggs) Kate Douglas Wiggin
- (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
- a prolonged high-pitched mournful cry or sound
Word Origin and History for wailed
c.1400; see wail (v.).
early 14c., from Old Norse væla "to lament," from væ "woe" (see woe). Of jazz musicians, "to play very well," attested from 1955, American English slang (wailing "excellent" is attested from 1954). Related: Wailed.