from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state or condition of being plaintive.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The quality of being plaintive; mournfulness.

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

  • n. expressing sorrowfulness


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Indeed, as she so often said to me, with a kind of plaintiveness which should have softened my declamatory ardour but did not, she did not like speaking of such matters at all; she regarded it as a kind of desecration.

    The Message

  • Their eyes had in them the querulous plaintiveness of the monkey, their faces were even less symmetrical than the monkey's, and, hairless of body, they were far more ungarmented than any monkey, for clothes they had none.


  • Puss teams up with Humpty Dumpty a creepily epicene ovoid voiced with eerie plaintiveness by Zach Galifianakis to repay an old debt by stealing some magic beans from Jack and Jill.

    'Like Crazy': From Cupid's Blunders, Wonders

  • The recorded blare of Lynyrd Skynyrd and commotion of thousands of milling football fans — gathered for college football's national championship game — hardly obscured the plaintiveness in Linda Pope's voice Sunday afternoon.

    Arizonans 'thrown into spotlight in bad way' in wake of shooting

  • The unaccustomed pessimism and plaintiveness of her letters worried Pearl “A little seed of anxiety sowed itself,” Grace wrote, “and thrust down a torturing root”.


  • It was the plaintiveness, the earnest, weak whine of the appeal, exactly the sort of sheep-to-the-slaughter attitude the Übermenschen Germans attributed to the lowly Jews, that alleged pathetic helplessness that only triggered more Blutrausch, the frenzy of killing that once begun could not be stopped.

    The Lampshade

  • Rougher hits: It would be years before I was savvy enough to realize that you'd have to hear "Don't Be Cruel" and "Heartbreak Hotel," rougher hits that preceded "Love Me Tender," and only then would you have an inkling of just how dangerous a singer might sound who cross-wired the plaintiveness of white gospel and country to the jump boogie of black blues.

    Forever Elvis

  • In the drafts, we encounter this plaintiveness again but in a different register.

    Paper Trail

  • Just listening to him speak – with his slurred pronunciations, his breathtaking malapropisms, his embarrassing over-emphasis of terms he had obviously just learned, and his substitution of smirking plaintiveness for persuasive argument – this is an experience I simultaneously both wish for you as historians, and would hope that you could avoid as decent human beings.

    western Civ, 2307: In Case You Ever Wonder What They'll Think of Us

  • It will only plead at first to my friends in the still conscious plaintiveness of a young and unhardened beggar.

    Clarissa Harlowe


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