Word of the Day

Saturday, September 01, 2001

plaintive

\PLAYN-tiv\ , adjective;
1.
Expressive of sorrow or melancholy; mournful; sad.
Quotes:
Meanwhile Jack Byron's plight in France was becoming desperate and his letters to his sister increasingly plaintive.
-- Phyllis Grosskurth, Byron: The Flawed Angel
The shadows have lengthened, and the night birds have begun their plaintive chorus.
-- Valerie Martin, "Being St. Francis", The Atlantic, August 2000
. . .the plaintive cries of loneliness of the immigrant.
-- Jeremy Eichler, "Tango and the Individual Talent", New Republic, July 3, 2000
Origin:
Plaintive derives from Old French plainte, "complaint," from Latin planctus, past participle of plangere, "to strike (one's breast), to lament."
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