Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To cry over; lament.
  • transitive verb To express sorrow or unhappiness over.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • verb regret strongly

Etymologies

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

[Middle English biwailen : bi-, be- + wailen; see wail.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English bewailen, equivalent to be- (“over, about”) +‎ wail.

Examples

  • 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

  • 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?

    Archive 2010-01-01

  • 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

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

    Family

  • 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.

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

    Elizabeth Cunningham: Credo: Community Without Conformity

  • 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

  • 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

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

    Elizabeth Cunningham: Credo: Community Without Conformity

  • 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

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