V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: showing or expressing sadness--sorrowful

Synonyms: melancholy, sorrowful, woeful, pitiful, pathetic, mournful

Antonyms: cheerful, glad, happy

Tips: Plaintive is derived from the Old French plaintiff, which means "complaining." The origins are the same for the word plaintiff, "a person who has a complaint against someone and brings that person to court." To remember the word, it might help to think of a sad, complaining plaintiff. The adverb plaintively means, "in a plaintive manner."

Usage Examples:

The plaintive plaintiff cried throughout the trial. (mournful, woeful)

The plaintive song put everyone in a somber mood. (melancholy)

She looked at him plaintively as he said good-bye and got on the plane. (pathetically, sorrowfully) adverb

The abandoned kitten's plaintive cries led my mom to bring him home as our pet. (pitiful)

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