- 1[intransitive] to make a long loud high cry because you are sad or in pain The little girl was wailing miserably. women wailing and weeping See related entries: Unhappiness
- 2[transitive, intransitive] to cry or complain about something in a loud high voice synonym moan + speech ‘It's broken,’ she wailed. wail (about something) There's no point wailing about something that happened so long ago.
- 3[intransitive] (of things) to make a long loud high sound Ambulances raced by with sirens wailing. Word Origin Middle English: from Old Norse; related to woe.Extra examples A crowd of women followed the coffin, weeping and wailing. She wailed with despair. wailing for her dead husband ‘It’s broken!’ she wailed. The cat was wailing to be let out.
BrE BrE//weɪl//; NAmE NAmE//weɪl//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they wail
BrE BrE//weɪl//; NAmE NAmE//weɪl//he / she / it wails
BrE BrE//weɪlz//; NAmE NAmE//weɪlz//past simple wailed
BrE BrE//weɪld//; NAmE NAmE//weɪld//past participle wailed
BrE BrE//weɪld//; NAmE NAmE//weɪld//-ing form wailing
BrE BrE//ˈweɪlɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈweɪlɪŋ//Unhappiness