Definition of plaint in English:



  • 1British Law
    An accusation or charge.

    • ‘Secondly, no plaintiff has agreed to withdraw his plaint.’
    • ‘There was only one plaint in the District Court but two appeals in the Court of Appeal.’
    • ‘Prosecutors offered no comment, but their plaint reveals their views: ‘The heart of Greenpeace's mission,’ it claims, ‘is the violation of the law.’’
    • ‘What they did not tell the court is that at the time they lodged their plaint, KCA had no officials, and a Normalisation Committee had been registered.’
    • ‘In the absence of a formal plaint there is no legal basis to press further charges.’
    indictment, accusation, denunciation, prosecution, trial, charge, summons, citation
    View synonyms
  • 2literary A complaint or lamentation.

    ‘it is a familiar plaint—no jobs for young researchers’
    • ‘To you I come to make my plaint, good sire In the presence of the barons of your empire.’
    • ‘I elegantly e-mailed the company, who sent back a ‘dear occupant’ type response assuring it's ‘aware of the varied taste preferences and dietary needs of our consumers,’ but not specifically addressing any point, plaint or plea.’
    • ‘The plaint is old and familiar, but not misplaced or ill-timed.’
    • ‘Like most of the songs on this collection, it takes the hallowed plaints of ordinary folks and infuses them with a pure spiritual simplicity that a great deal of more exalted religious music never manages to attain.’
    • ‘So great was the indignation that the empty plaints of a few celebrities who groused about leaving the country in 2000 became a popular badge of outrage last week.’


Middle English: from Old French plainte, feminine past participle of plaindre complain, or from Old French plaint, from Latin planctus beating of the breast.