Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

  

English definition of “wail”

wail

verb     /weɪl/
[I or T] to make a long , high cry , usually because of pain or sadness : The women gathered around the coffin and began to wail, as was the custom in the region . [+ speech] "My finger hurts ," wailed the child .Expressing and showing feelingsSounds made by humans with their mouths [I] informal to complain loudly or strongly : [+ that] Business people wailed that their trade would be ruined .Shouting and screamingComplaining
(Definition of wail verb from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of wail

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Expressing and showing feelings, but you might be interested in these topics from the Expressing and controlling emotions topic area:

More definitions for “wail”

Definitions of “wail” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

as husband and wife

in the same way as two people who are married

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More