wail
I. verb Etymology: Middle English weilen, waylen, perhaps modification (influenced by Middle English weilawei wellaway) of Old Norse væla, vāla to wail; akin to Old Norse vei woe — more at woe Date: 14th century intransitive verb 1. to express sorrow audibly ; lament 2. to make a sound suggestive of a mournful cry 3. to express dissatisfaction plaintively ; complain transitive verb archaic 1. bewail 2. to say or express plaintively <
wailed that her cake was ruined
>
wailer noun II. noun Date: 15th century 1. the act or practice of wailing ; loud lamentation 2. a. a usually prolonged cry or sound expressing grief or pain b. a sound suggestive of wailing <
the wail of an air-raid siren
>
c. a querulous expression of grievance ; complaint

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • wail — [weıl] v [Date: 1200 1300; Origin: From a Scandinavian language] 1.) [T] to say something in a loud, sad, and complaining way ▪ But what shall I do? Bernard wailed. 2.) to cry out with a long high sound, especially because you are very sad or in… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Wail — Wail, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Wailed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Wailing}.] [OE. wailen, weilen, probably fr. Icel. v[ae]la; cf. Icel. v[ae], vei, woe, and E. wayment, also OE. wai, wei, woe. Cf. {Woe}.] To lament; to bewail; to grieve over; as, to wail one… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Wail — Wail, v. i. To express sorrow audibly; to make mournful outcry; to weep. [1913 Webster] Therefore I will wail and howl. Micah i. 8. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Wail — Wail, n. Loud weeping; violent lamentation; wailing. The wail of the forest. Longfellow. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Wail — Wail, v. t. [Cf. Icel. val choice, velja to choose, akin to Goth. waljan, G. w[ a]hlen.] To choose; to select. [Obs.] Wailed wine and meats. Henryson. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Wail — País …   Wikipedia Español

  • wail — [ weıl ] verb 1. ) intransitive or transitive to shout or cry with a long high sound to show that you are in pain or very sad: The baby wailed all night. I m so lonely, wailed Alice. 2. ) intransitive to make a long high sound: wailing sirens ╾… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • wail — ► NOUN 1) a prolonged high pitched cry of pain, grief, or anger. 2) a sound resembling this. ► VERB ▪ give or utter a wail. DERIVATIVES wailer noun. ORIGIN Old Norse, related to WOE(Cf. ↑ …   English terms dictionary

  • wail — [wāl] vi. [ME wailen < ON væla, to lament < væ, WOE] 1. to express grief or pain by long, loud cries 2. to make a plaintive, sad, crying sound [the wind wailing in the trees] 3. Jazz Slang to play in an intense or inspired manner vt.… …   English World dictionary

  • wail — index outcry, plaint Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • wail — (v.) early 14c., from O.N. væla to lament, from væ woe (see WOE (Cf. woe)). Of jazz musicians, to play very well, attested from 1955, American English slang (wailing excellent is attested from 1954). The noun is recorded from c.1400 …   Etymology dictionary

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