Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To be discontented or low in spirits; complain or fret.
  • intransitive v. To yearn after something: Immigrants who repined for their homeland.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To fail; to wane.
  • intransitive v. To continue pining; to feel inward discontent which preys on the spirits; to indulge in envy or complaint; to murmur.
  • n. Vexation; mortification.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To be fretfully discontented; be unhappy and indulge in complaint; murmur: often with at or against.
  • To fail; give way.
  • n. A repining.

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

  • v. express discontent

Etymologies

Middle English repinen, to be aggrieved : re-, re- + pinen, to yearn; see pine2.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Believed to have been formed (with uncertainty, due to the unusual formation) as re- +‎ pine, with the verb (first attested in 1529) giving rise to the noun (first attested in 1593); compare the Middle English verb repinen, which may be related. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • For the young men, that were most able and fit for labor and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense.

    Thankful for Private Property

  • This shows that just as locative repine and inessive repinθi are forms of *repin, so too are locative haθe and haθrθi forms of *hanθ cf. hanθin.

    Oddly formed locatives with inessive postclitic in Etruscan

  • Luckily for me, the entire phrase is also found in another case, the simple locative: haθe-c repine-c in LL 9.xii also hante-c repine-c in LL 3.xxiv.

    Oddly formed locatives with inessive postclitic in Etruscan

  • But actually it's nothing but whining of spoilt fans, provided with the greatest stuff in the universe and being so satisfied that they look for anything to repine againts.

    The Great Bear

  • I repine not at the lot which Providence has assigned me?

    The Curate and His Daughter, a Cornish Tale

  • My comforters cannot bring me to repine much on this subject.

    My Aunt Margaret's Mirror

  • In fact, Rene was a prince of very moderate parts, endowed with a love of the fine arts, which he craved to extremity, and a degree of good humor, which never permitted him to repine at fortune, but rendered its possessor happy, when a prince of keener feelings would have died of despair.

    Anne of Geierstein

  • 'Indeed, Sir, – and pray believe me, I do not mean to repine I have not the beauty of Indiana; I know and have always heard her loveliness is beyond all comparison.

    Camilla

  • And though his income, as you know, was so small, he never ran in debt, and by an exact but open oeconomy, escaped all imputation of meanness: while by forbearing either to conceal, or repine at his limited fortune, he blunted even the raillery of the dissipated, by frankly and good humouredly meeting it half way.

    Camilla

  • 'Do not teach me to repine, my dear Camilla, that I have no more!

    Camilla

Comments

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  • I saw the use of this as a synonym for yearn, pine. Dictionaries here say it's all right but it still seems a misusage to me -- I've never seen it contextually thus in any real author. Can someone contradict?

    July 18, 2011

  • Means wishing things had turned out differently. Jane Austen uses it a lot.
    “Oh! that my dear mother had more command over herself; she can have no idea of the pain she gives me by her continual reflections on him. But I will not repine. It cannot last long. He will be forgot, and we shall all be as we were before.�?
    Pride & Prejudice, Volume II chapter 1

    June 17, 2008

  • "Even Hancock, though he might regret the source of this sudden wealth, could not repine at its consequences."
    - 'Jane Austen: A Life', David Nokes.

    March 25, 2008

  • "'I should be ungrateful to repine: but I could wish that Captain Aubrey had given us as clear a view of the Great Barrier Reef.'"
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Nutmeg of Consolation, 257

    March 9, 2008