Other forms: wailed; wails

To wail is to let loose a long loud cry. If you're feeling truly miserable, take a deep breath and wail as loudly as possible.

When it comes to expressing unhappiness, wailing lies at the extreme end of the spectrum. So, it's best to save this response for life's most unpleasant moments — unless you're a jazz musician. In jazz terminology, wailing on one's instrument is actually a good thing. What's the connection between an eardrum-shattering expression of misery and a hot jam session? The answer to that question may depend on your personal musical preferences.

Definitions of wail
  1. noun
    a cry of sorrow and grief
    synonyms: lament, lamentation, plaint
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    type of:
    (formerly) a loud cry (or repeated cries) of pain or rage or sorrow
  2. verb
    emit long loud cries
    wail in self-pity”
    synonyms: howl, roar, ululate, yaup, yawl
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    squall, waul, wawl
    make high-pitched, whiney noises
    type of:
    call, cry, holler, hollo, scream, shout, shout out, squall, yell
    utter a sudden loud cry
  3. verb
    cry weakly or softly
    “she wailed with pain”
    synonyms: mewl, pule, whimper
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    type of:
    cry, weep
    shed tears because of sadness, rage, or pain




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DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘wail'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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