American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To grieve or protest loudly and bitterly; lament. See Synonyms at cry.
- v. To make a prolonged, high-pitched sound suggestive of a cry: The wind wailed through the trees.
- v. Archaic To lament over; bewail.
- n. A long, loud, high-pitched cry, as of grief or pain.
- n. A long, loud, high-pitched sound: the wail of a siren.
- n. A loud, bitter protest: A wail of misery went up when new parking restrictions were announced.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To express sorrow by a mournful inarticulate vocal sound; lament; moan; cry plaintively.
- To grieve over; lament; bemoan; bewail.
- n. The act of lamenting aloud; wailing; a moan; a plaintive cry or sound.
- See wale.
- n. A prolonged cry, usually high-pitched, especially as of grief or anguish.
- n. Any similar sound as of lamentation; a howl.
- v. To cry out, as in sorrow or anguish.
- v. To weep, lament persistently or bitterly.
- v. To make a noise like mourning or crying.
- v. slang (music) To perform, express emotion in an exceptionally exciting way.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. obsolete To choose; to select.
- v. To lament; to bewail; to grieve over.
- v. To express sorrow audibly; to make mournful outcry; to weep.
- n. Loud weeping; violent lamentation; wailing.
- n. a cry of sorrow and grief
- v. emit long loud cries
- v. cry weakly or softly
- Probably from Old Norse væla (Wiktionary)
- Middle English wailen, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse vāla, vǣla. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Allusions to Antiguan slave trading and the cultural and economic imperialism that have enriched the Bertram clan are made explicit in Patricia Rozema's 1999 film — largely in the opening and the closing credit sequence, which feature African singers in a kind of wail from the sea.”
“Their every impulse, from their very first wail, is to dominate, and by dominating, compel us to become their servants in turn.”
“While it won't exactly match the classic high-pitched wail from the show, the producer says Gordon-Levitt will leave his own vocal stamp on Cobra Commander.”
“Chalmers “wales” a psalm, in every sense of the word wail, to the most doleful of dismal tunes; they read a chapter round, and he prays.”
“I can't quite describe the level of annoyance that the bald business guru brings to a room of gentle drinkers, trying to enjoy themselves while the rest of the populace is at work, but a sudden wail from a man in the far corner, similar to that of a small dog yanked forcefully by the tail, alerts everyone that something is terribly wrong.”
“To wail is to (1) express sorrow audibly (Lament); (2) to make a soundsuggestive of a mournful cry; (3) to express dissatisfaction plaintively: tocomplain.”
“We were interrupted in our reflections by a wail from the Russian courier who found himself in a curious dilemma.”
“Her potatoes spilled over the deck, while a wail from the front of the boat announced that one of the babies had bumped, too.”
“She's run away, said Jeanie, afraid not to be believed – and then the commotion was increased by a wail from the mother, who sank in a state of collapse into her large chair, and by the rush of Marg'ret from the kitchen, who perceiving what had happened flew to give the necessary help.”
“Chalmers "wales" a psalm, in every sense of the word wail, to the most doleful of dismal tunes; they read a chapter round, and he prays.”
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