Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To cry over; lament: bewail the dead.
  • transitive v. To express sorrow or unhappiness over: "bewailing the possible effects of double-digit unemployment” ( Washington Post).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To wail over; to feel or express deep sorrow for

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To express grief; to lament.
  • transitive v. To express deep sorrow for, as by wailing; to lament; to wail over.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To mourn aloud for; bemoan; lament; express deep sorrow for: as, to bewail the loss of a child.
  • To express grief.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. regret strongly

Etymologies

Middle English biwailen : bi-, be- + wailen; see wail.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English bewailen, equivalent to be- (“over, about”) +‎ wail. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Indeed, this could be just another way to point the finger at young girls, find another reason to bewail the fact that they're not "sugar and spice and all things nice".

    So girls are not all as nice as pie. And your point is? | Barbara Ellen

  • But we've been told it did happen, narratively speaking, so we can either throw our hands up in the air and bewail the whimsies of writers with no sense of reality, or we can deal with it by asking how could it happen?

    Modality and Hamlet

  • "We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness..."

    Elizabeth Cunningham: Credo: Community Without Conformity

  • Peter DavisLondon • I do not find it strange that so many of your correspondents Letters, 25 February bewail the fact that they do not know what Labour wants and find we have no strong leadership.

    Letters: Jobs for the boys in a biased media

  • I was going to write a detailed rant about why I'm fed up with seeing so much discussion about rape that ignores the realities that women of color have faced since colonization and slavery and continue to face, even as white women bewail the existence of 'rape culture'.

    culture.

  • When some people will not have enough to eat this year, it may seem selfish to bewail the loss of a small subsidised poetry publisher; but in fact several livelihoods are involved here; most of the others have closed down already – five in one week last year – and food for the mind and spirit is also very important.

    Letters: Short-sighted and dangerous cuts to the arts

  • Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.

    Family

  • FROM MTV. COM: It seems to be a critical tradition to bewail the awfulness of each year's movies.

    Kurt Loder Picks His Best Movies Of 2009 » MTV Movies Blog

  • • Like Tristram Hunt, I bewail the capture of the Lib Dem high command by the liberal economic fundamentalists.

    Letters: Co-ops, cuts and the coalition

  • Members relished a soliloquy of Launce to his shoes, who spin his relatives as they bewail his depart for unfamiliar shoresin sharp contrariety to his dog Crab, who callously refuses to strew a tear (2.3).

    Archive 2009-11-01

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Comments

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  • "Though in this city he
    Hath widow'd and unchilded many a one,
    Which to this hour bewail the injury,
    Yet he shall have a noble memory."
    - William Shakespeare, 'The Tragedy of Coriolanus'.

    August 29, 2009