bewail

The verb bewail means to lament or express great sorrow. When your big brother or sister starts kindergarten, you may bewail the fact that they can't play with you all day anymore but you'll be excited when you get to go to school also!

The verb bewail is from the Old Norse word væla, meaning to lament. The prefix be- is added when you want to make something stronger or more intense. So bewail means to greatly lament and when compared to bemoan, a word with similar meaning, bewailing would be louder and more intense. You can bewail the death of a friend, but if you bewail a minor irritation like a broken nail, people will accuse you of being overly dramatic.

Definitions of bewail
  1. verb
    regret strongly
    synonyms: bemoan, deplore, lament
    see moresee less
    type of:
    complain, kick, kvetch, plain, quetch, sound off
    express complaints, discontent, displeasure, or unhappiness
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week