Word of the DayMonday, June 12, 2000
\PLAN-juhnt\ , adjective;
Beating with a loud or deep sound, as, "the plangent wave."
Expressing sadness; plaintive.
She moans along with the woman who is singing -- wailing, really -- her hands gripping the steering wheel to the plangent cries of the singer and the sobbing of violins.
-- Alice Walker, By the Light of My Father's Smile
What undoubtedly touched those soldiers is the play's plangent nostalgia, the ache for home, for home's rootedness and security.
-- J. D. McClatchy, "Wilder and the Marvels of the Heart", New York Times, April 13, 1997
Plangent derives from the present participle of Latin plangere, to beat, to strike (noisily), especially to strike the breast, head, etc., as a sign of grief.
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