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

  • n. A complaint.
  • n. An utterance of grief or sorrow; a lamentation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A lament or woeful cry.
  • n. A complaint.
  • n. An accusation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Audible expression of sorrow; lamentation; complaint; hence, a mournful song; a lament.
  • n. An accusation or protest on account of an injury.
  • n. A private memorial tendered to a court, in which a person sets forth his cause of action; the exhibiting of an action in writing.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Lamentation; complaint; audible expression of sorrow; a sad or serious song.
  • n. Representation made of injury or wrong done; complaint.
  • n. In law: A statement of grievance made to a court for the purpose of asking redress.
  • n. The first process in an inferior court, in the nature of original process.

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

  • n. (United Kingdom) a written statement of the grounds of complaint made to court of law asking for the grievance to be redressed
  • n. a cry of sorrow and grief


Middle English, from Old French plainte, from Latin plānctus, lament, from past participle of plangere, to strike one's breast, lament; see plāk-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English plainte, from Anglo-Norman plainte ("lamentation"), plaint ("lament"), and Old French pleinte ("lamentation"), pleint ("lament") (modern French plainte), from Medieval Latin plancta ("plaint"), Latin planctus ("a beating of the breast in lamentation, beating, lamentation"), from Latin plangere ("to beat the breast, lament"); see plain. (Wiktionary)



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