Definitions

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

  • noun A low, sustained, mournful cry, usually indicative of sorrow or pain.
  • noun A similar sound.
  • noun A complaint.
  • intransitive verb To utter a moan or moans.
  • intransitive verb To make a sound resembling a moan.
  • intransitive verb To complain, lament, or grieve.
  • intransitive verb To bewail or bemoan.
  • intransitive verb To utter with moans or a moan.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Moa-like; of or pertaining to a moa.
  • To utter a low dull sound expressive of physical or mental suffering; lament inarticulately or with mournful utterance.
  • To give forth a saddening or gloomy sound, like one in distress; sound like a low cry of distress.
  • To murmur; complain; protest.
  • To lament; deplore; bewail.
  • To cause to make lamentation; afflict; distress: as, “which infinitely moans me,”
  • noun A low dull sound expressing grief or pain; a sound of lamentation not so deep as a groan; audible expression of sorrow; grief expressed in words or cries.
  • noun A low dull sound resembling that made by a person moaning.
  • noun Lament: lamentation; complaint: especially in the phrase to make one's moan.

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

  • transitive verb To bewail audibly; to lament.
  • transitive verb obsolete To afflict; to distress.
  • intransitive verb To make a low prolonged sound of grief or pain, whether articulate or not; to groan softly and continuously.
  • intransitive verb To emit a sound like moan; -- said of things inanimate.
  • noun A low prolonged sound, articulate or not, indicative of pain or of grief; a low groan.
  • noun A low mournful or murmuring sound; -- of things.

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

  • noun a low, mournful cry of pain, sorrow or pleasure
  • verb to make a moan or similar sound
  • verb to complain

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

  • noun an utterance expressing pain or disapproval
  • verb indicate pain, discomfort, or displeasure

Etymologies

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

[Middle English mone, from Old English *mān; see mei-no- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English mone, mane, man, from Old English *mān ("complaint, lamentation"), from Proto-Germanic *mainō. Inferred from Old English mǣnan ("to complain over, grieve, mourn"). More at mean.

Examples

  • The sugar train to Matanzas started with a trundle and a high moan from the horn, pulling away from the suburbs of Havana with stateliness rather than speed, pursued by stragglers who hopped aboard like hobos catching a freight.

    The 12:39 to Matanzas

  • The sugar train to Matanzas started with a trundle and a high moan from the horn, pulling away from the suburbs of Havana with stateliness rather than speed, pursued by stragglers who hopped aboard like hobos catching a freight.

    The 12:39 to Matanzas

  • The sugar train to Matanzas started with a trundle and a high moan from the horn, pulling away from the suburbs of Havana with stateliness rather than speed, pursued by stragglers who hopped aboard like hobos catching a freight.

    The 12:39 to Matanzas

  • Why she thinks that anyone cares about her weight, or why she thinks it's necessary to go to a major magazine and bitch and moan is beyond me.

    Carnie(vore) Wilson Chews The Fat About Weight Gain

  • Then come the hippos, who moan from the nearby Chari River (we didn't know they were hippos at the time).

    Archive 2005-10-01

  • Then come the hippos, who moan from the nearby Chari River (we didn't know they were hippos at the time).

    Darda: Our Training Site

  • Then there was a sort of sighing moan from the crowd on the cliff, who had been there all night for the French to land, and then Lord Arden's voice –

    The House of Arden

  • A moan from the sickly lad in the corner of the hut, roused David from the amazed stare with which he was contemplating the little eager, wiry, energetic old man.

    Stuart of Dunleath: A Story of Modern Times

  • The moan was a wordless cry of hunger that drifted to them through the pillars of oak trees, like the plaintive call of a wandering ghost.

    Rot & Ruin

  • The entire P.E. class groaned in unison, and my moan was the loudest of all.

    Runners

Comments

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  • All day I hear the noise of waters

    Making moan,

    Sad as the sea-bird is, when going

    Forth alone,

    He hears the winds cry to the waters'

    Monotone.

    - James Joyce, 'The Noise Of Waters'.

    November 30, 2008