Definition of bewail in US English:



[with object]
  • Express great regret, disappointment, or bitterness over (something)

    ‘he bewailed the fact that heart trouble had slowed him down’
    • ‘The other group of opinions came from closer to home and bewailed the errors of the past.’
    • ‘The choir opened with a number of madrigals exulting the joys of love the wonders of travel and men bewailing the pain of unrequited love.’
    • ‘Historians must, as usual, do what they can with the materials which lie to hand rather than bewail the absence of that which is missing.’
    • ‘This is the season to be jolly and maybe also to bewail our lack of will power as we knock back a few too many drinks at the office party and generally overindulge all our vices from smoking to eating.’
    • ‘The filmmaker bewails the attitude of the educated sections towards serious films.’
    • ‘Media academics of the 60s bewailed the fact that we had little interpretive journalism.’
    • ‘Landlords and administrators complained, contesting the legality of the takeover, bewailing deforestation, and, most interestingly, arguing that the latter caused dangerous soil erosion.’
    • ‘The song, from which I removed the family name, was published in the 1890s, and bewailed the loss of the family name, in the 17th century, by Royal proscription.’
    • ‘Hand held speed cameras are deployed to facilitate enforcement evidence aimed at the minority of cyclists who flout the rules and who react in an aggressive manner, usually bewailing the breaching of their civil rights.’
    • ‘He bewails the fate of this ‘eccentric’ building, ‘wantonly’ demolished in 1938 for a municipal garden.’
    • ‘I used to ‘acknowledge and bewail my manifold sins and wickedness’ every week.’
    • ‘This statement bewails the prospect of the mixed-race characters' disappearance and establishes their identity as a third race within the context of the story.’
    • ‘The editorials in yesterday's major newspapers bewailed the crisis and expressed vague hopes that wiser counsel would prevail.’
    • ‘The business section of the newspaper bewailed the consequences for an already fragile economy and suggested that even more drastic austerity policies were required.’
    • ‘For several years there have been letters and articles in your newspaper bewailing the traffic conditions along the main road arteries and particularly between Morecambe and Lancaster.’
    • ‘Instead of bewailing the number of people of high ability who are lost to this country through the ‘brain drain’ it is surely time to offer them an incentive to stay here rather than an increased burden to drive them away.’
    • ‘But I do slightly bewail the way publishers pack the talent into the second half.’
    • ‘Other regions might scream and bewail their fate; the homeless coasters simply looked slightly puzzled.’
    • ‘She bewails the fact that the street's turned so quiet since it's been pedestrianised.’
    • ‘Lyrically, it's the musician at his most personal and revealing, bewailing a love affair turned obsessive.’
    lament, bemoan, beat one's breast about, wring one's hands over, rue, express regret about, sigh over, deplore, complain about
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