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late 14c., from Old French lamentacion and directly from Latin lamentationem (nominative lamentatio) "wailing, moaning, weeping," noun of action from past participle stem of lamentari "to wail, moan, weep, lament," from lamentum "a wailing," from PIE root *la- "to shout, cry," probably ultimately imitative. Replaced Old English cwiþan.
(Heb. qinah), an elegy or dirge. The first example of this form of poetry is the lament of David over Saul and Jonathan (2 Sam. 1:17-27). It was a frequent accompaniment of mourning (Amos 8:10). In 2 Sam. 3:33, 34 is recorded David's lament over Abner. Prophecy sometimes took the form of a lament when it predicted calamity (Ezek. 27:2, 32; 28:12; 32:2, 16).