9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[mohn] /moʊn/
a prolonged, low, inarticulate sound uttered from or as if from physical or mental suffering.
any similar sound:
the moan of the wind.
complaint or lamentation.
verb (used without object)
to utter moans, as of pain or grief.
(of the wind, sea, trees, etc.) to make any sound suggestive of such moans:
The wind moaned through the trees.
verb (used with object)
to utter (something) inarticulately or pitifully, as if in lamentation:
He moaned his response.
to lament or bemoan:
to moan one's fate.
Origin of moan
1175-1225; Middle English mone, man(e) (noun), Old English *mān, inferred from its derivative mǣnan to mourn
Related forms
moanful, adjective
moanfully, adverb
moaningly, adverb
unmoaned, adjective
unmoaning, adjective
1. See groan. 4. grieve. 4, 7. mourn. 7. deplore. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for moaned
  • We all cried, moaned, whimpered and wined but our world did not come crashing down.
  • It may have turned into a tenure-track job, my adviser moaned.
  • IV drips hung from makeshift poles and patients moaned as if they were recovering from a delirium.
  • She moaned and tossed in her darkened room, a sheen of sweat on her upper lip.
  • As the explosions drew nearer, the patients moaned and cowered in the compound's corners.
  • The edges of the wings tossed to and fro, and the wind shrieked and moaned as it swept over the prairie.
  • Instead, the record companies now moaned the firm had hegemony, fixing prices of music and setting terms with impunity.
  • And even when it was standing, it moaned and creaked.
  • And managers moaned about the length of the return lines.
  • He moaned mechanically and at regular intervals, and it did not seem to be he that made the sound.
British Dictionary definitions for moaned


a low prolonged mournful sound expressive of suffering or pleading
any similar mournful sound, esp that made by the wind
a grumble or complaint
to utter (words) in a low mournful manner
(intransitive) to make a sound like a moan
(usually intransitive) to grumble or complain (esp in the phrase moan and groan)
Derived Forms
moaner, noun
moanful, adjective
moaning, noun, adjective
moaningly, adverb
Word Origin
C13: related to Old English mǣnan to grieve over
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for moaned



c.1200, "lamentation, mourning, weeping; complaining, the expressing of complaints; a complaint; lover's complaint; accusation, charge," probably from an unrecorded Old English *man "complaint," related to Old English mænan "complain, moan," also "tell, intend, signify" (see mean (v.1)); but OED discounts this connection. Meaning "long, low inarticulate murmur from some prolonged pain" is first recorded 1670s, "with onomatopoeic suggestion" [OED].


mid-13c., "mourn (someone); regret, bewail;" c.1300, "to lament, grieve; utter moans;" probably from Old English *manan, related to mænan "to lament" (see moan (n.)). From 1724 as "to make a low, mournful sound." Related: Moaned; moaning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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