Definition of lamentable in US English:



  • 1(of circumstances or conditions) deplorably bad or unsatisfactory.

    ‘the facilities provided were lamentable, not merely basic but squalid’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The majority of popular culture is commercially produced ephemera of mostly lamentable quality which needs absolutely no help or encouragement from government.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I regret that in our own country there has been a lamentable lack of interest in our common European inheritance.’
    • ‘That apart, this lamentable lack of learning is also what the American schooling system cultivates.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The decision to consign the handling of prison detainees to the private sector is just more substantiation of this lamentable shift.’
    • ‘‘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 we take a step back, we can see that only government could have brought us to this lamentable condition.’
    • ‘According to City & Guilds, a lamentable lack of even basic IT training is one of the main problems.’
    • ‘It implies on the part of management disrespect for the studio's history and a lamentable lack of flexibility and vision.’
    • ‘While the retail end of the coffee industry is booming, production is in a lamentable state.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There is a lamentable lack of comprehensive and accurate data concerning this process of debt creation.’
    1. 1.1 (of an event, action, or attitude) unfortunate; regrettable.
      ‘her open prejudice showed lamentable immaturity’
      • ‘A few days after the lamentable death of Ted Perry, Hyperion's founder, this disc arrived in the post for review.’
      • ‘This would be a lamentable end for such an illustrious name and would bring no pleasure to anyone in Scotland.’
      • ‘Although tragic and lamentable, the story is about one rich man who lost control and lost everything as a result.’
      • ‘Were it a better film, this would be a lamentable occurrence; as things are, it's not worth much more than a shrug.’
      • ‘If that is right, it is in this case's circumstances wholly lamentable.’
      • ‘That is the reality, lamentable and regrettable as it is.’
      • ‘Volunteers of any kind are fast becoming a dying breed and this is a lamentable fact.’
      • ‘This is a remarkable and lamentable failure of modern scholarship, and it exposes some surprising and unacceptable things about modern academic practice.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The events leading to The Great Bear's wayward sojourn are both lamentable and somewhat tragically amusing.’
      • ‘The device isn't a government-approved medical aid, a circumstance Pearl deems lamentable.’
      • ‘This is not resuscitation, it is a deliverance from adversity, whether it be sickness, or some other lamentable circumstance.’
      • ‘Look at it enough and it's actually quite laughable, rather than lamentable.’
      • ‘Now the appeasement game does indeed seem to be working its way towards the inevitable - but still lamentable - conclusion.’
      • ‘I'm reminded of a lamentable conversation I had with an Afghan colleague who, until that point, I had quite liked.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Once again, Danae's impregnation by gold is presented as a desirable rather than lamentable event in this comic context.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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.


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