Definition of lamentable in English:



  • 1(of circumstances or conditions) very bad; deplorable.

    ‘the industry is in a lamentable state’
    • ‘The majority of popular culture is commercially produced ephemera of mostly lamentable quality which needs absolutely no help or encouragement from government.’
    • ‘I idly went back to the archives for last January and read with amusement my musings about my lamentable inability to keep my desk clean or to engage in other seemingly modest self-improvement projects.’
    • ‘I regret that in our own country there has been a lamentable lack of interest in our common European inheritance.’
    • ‘While the retail end of the coffee industry is booming, production is in a lamentable state.’
    • ‘According to City & Guilds, a lamentable lack of even basic IT training is one of the main problems.’
    • ‘‘The performance of the Dairygold board in the face of what is effectively the dismantling of Dairygold is lamentable and the silence of its members quite disgraceful,’ he said.’
    • ‘If those National members cannot get their heads around that now, it really shows the lamentable lack of intellect on that side of the Chamber.’
    • ‘That apart, this lamentable lack of learning is also what the American schooling system cultivates.’
    • ‘Others, such as Fatima Hussain, argue that the defeat of the measure merely reflected a lamentable lack of political will on the part of the government.’
    • ‘You can judge for yourself whether this shows the essential ‘rightness’ of the Stephenson ideas, or if it shows a lamentable lack of initiative over the ensuing years.’
    • ‘It seems to me to demonstrate only a lamentable lack of any informed thought in a matter which, however unimportant it may have seemed to the Bank, was and is of real importance to Mrs Burgess.’
    • ‘It implies on the part of management disrespect for the studio's history and a lamentable lack of flexibility and vision.’
    • ‘Perhaps, instead of seeing the annual ritual of the Christmas party as indicating a lamentable weakness for excess, we should welcome it as a sign of our customary, compliant sobriety.’
    • ‘Still, with a movie this special, having a good technical presentation provides some forgiving leeway for an otherwise lamentable lack of contextual material.’
    • ‘Aside from their palpable defensive frailties there was a lamentable lack of inspiration in midfield, whilst upfront John Sutton and Lovell mostly toiled in inglorious isolation.’
    • ‘There is a lamentable lack of comprehensive and accurate data concerning this process of debt creation.’
    • ‘Perhaps the most lamentable lack of focus is in how much of a group's output is listed at the end of their entry: this of all things should be reliable if the average reader is going to build any trust in this venture.’
    • ‘It is worth remembering that, despite a lamentable lack of preparation and a reckless reliance on the offensive, France survived the opening months of the war with an impressive degree of unity.’
    • ‘If we take a step back, we can see that only government could have brought us to this lamentable condition.’
    • ‘The decision to consign the handling of prison detainees to the private sector is just more substantiation of this lamentable shift.’
    1. 1.1 (of an event, action, or attitude) unfortunate; regrettable.
      ‘her open prejudice showed lamentable immaturity’
      • ‘This is a remarkable and lamentable failure of modern scholarship, and it exposes some surprising and unacceptable things about modern academic practice.’
      • ‘A few days after the lamentable death of Ted Perry, Hyperion's founder, this disc arrived in the post for review.’
      • ‘That is the reality, lamentable and regrettable as it is.’
      • ‘This is not resuscitation, it is a deliverance from adversity, whether it be sickness, or some other lamentable circumstance.’
      • ‘The fact that Wilbanks broke no law up until the final moments of the lamentable episode has another implication that the news should be exploring.’
      • ‘Now the appeasement game does indeed seem to be working its way towards the inevitable - but still lamentable - conclusion.’
      • ‘If that is right, it is in this case's circumstances wholly lamentable.’
      • ‘The thing I find most noticeable about the tournament is the lamentable absence of anyone sporting the initials GB who might one day be good enough to mix it with the Williams sisters.’
      • ‘Biodiversity is already perfectly adequate without our needing to create novel life forms, unneeded for nutrition and unwelcome in the marketplace, to correct God's lamentable oversights.’
      • ‘I'm reminded of a lamentable conversation I had with an Afghan colleague who, until that point, I had quite liked.’
      • ‘Were it a better film, this would be a lamentable occurrence; as things are, it's not worth much more than a shrug.’
      • ‘The events leading to The Great Bear's wayward sojourn are both lamentable and somewhat tragically amusing.’
      • ‘Look at it enough and it's actually quite laughable, rather than lamentable.’
      • ‘Selfishly, I have to admit that my fourth of fifth thought, after hearing the lamentable news, was regret that it is unlikely he will be well enough soon enough to campaign for John Kerry.’
      • ‘The device isn't a government-approved medical aid, a circumstance Pearl deems lamentable.’
      • ‘This would be a lamentable end for such an illustrious name and would bring no pleasure to anyone in Scotland.’
      • ‘Once again, Danae's impregnation by gold is presented as a desirable rather than lamentable event in this comic context.’
      • ‘Although tragic and lamentable, the story is about one rich man who lost control and lost everything as a result.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, while I am on my high horse, I reckon that the abandonment of Standard Grades at their secondary schools is a rather lamentable idea.’
      • ‘Volunteers of any kind are fast becoming a dying breed and this is a lamentable fact.’
      deplorable, regrettable, tragic, terrible, awful, wretched, woeful, sorrowful, unfortunate, distressing, grievous, dire, disastrous, calamitous, desperate, grave, appalling, dreadful
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  • 2archaic Full of or expressing sorrow or grief.

    ‘the lamentable friends, trailing their long black garments’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘mournful’, also ‘pitiable, regrettable’): from Old French, or from Latin lamentabilis, from the verb lamentari (see lament).