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From Middle English bewailen, equivalent to be- (over, about) +‎ wail.



bewail (third-person singular simple present bewails, present participle bewailing, simple past and past participle bewailed)

  1. To wail over; to feel or express deep sorrow for
    • c. 1607, William Shakespeare, Coriolanus, Act V, Scene 6,[1]
      [] Though in this city he
      Hath widow’d and unchilded many a one,
      Which to this hour bewail the injury,
      Yet he shall have a noble memory.
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, Luke 8:52,[2]
      And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.
    • 1820, William Wordsworth, “The Haunted Tree”[3]
      [] when the wind
      Blows keenly, it sends forth a creaking sound
      (Above the general roar of woods and crags)
      Distinctly heard from far--a doleful note!
      As if (so Grecian shepherds would have deemed)
      The Hamadryad, pent within, bewailed
      Some bitter wrong.


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