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EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

Etymology 1Edit

c. 1300, Middle English weilen, waylen (to sob, cry, wail),[1] from Old Norse væla (to wail),[2] from , vei (woe),[3] from Proto-Germanic *wai (whence also Old English (woe) (English woe)), from Proto-Indo-European *wai.

The verb is first attested in the intransitive sense; the transitive sense developed in mid-14th c.. The noun came from the verb.

VerbEdit

wail (third-person singular simple present wails, present participle wailing, simple past and past participle wailed)

  1. (intransitive) To cry out, as in sorrow or anguish.
  2. (intransitive) To weep, lament persistently or bitterly.
  3. (intransitive) To make a noise like mourning or crying.
    The wind wailed and the rain streamed down.
  4. (transitive) To lament; to bewail; to grieve over.
    to wail one's death
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
  5. (slang, music) To perform with great liveliness and force.
    • 1999, Lewis A. Erenberg, Swingin' the Dream: Big Band Jazz and the Rebirth of American Culture, page 111:
      At Boston's Roseland, as "the Count's band was wailing," he grabbed Mamie, an avid dancer. The "band was screaming when she kicked off her shoes and got barefooted
    • 2012, Robert Lewis Barrett, A Portrait of the First Born As a Child, page 377:
      The band was really wailing as we quickly made our dance moves in a most provocative manner.
    • 2013, Joan Silber, Fools, →ISBN:
      We had a nondenominational wedding, with a bunch of great Sufi musicians really wailing, and my wildly enthusiastic mother in attendance.

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

NounEdit

wail (plural wails)

  1. A prolonged cry, usually high-pitched, especially as of grief or anguish. [from 15th c.]
    She let out a loud, doleful wail.
  2. Any similar sound as of lamentation; a howl.
    The wail of snow-dark winter winds.
    A bird's wail in the night.
  3. A sound made by emergency vehicle sirens, contrasted with "yelp" which is higher-pitched and faster.

TranslationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ [1] Merriam-Webster
  2. ^ [2] Online Etymology Dictionary
  3. ^ [3] Online Etymology Dictionary

Etymology 2Edit

From Old Norse val (choice). Compare Icelandic velja (to choose). More at wale.

VerbEdit

wail (third-person singular simple present wails, present participle wailing, simple past and past participle wailed)

  1. (obsolete) Synonym of wale (to choose; to select)
    • Henryson:
      Wailed wine and meats

ReferencesEdit

AnagramsEdit


AsiluluEdit

NounEdit

wail

  1. water

ReferencesEdit

  • James T. Collins, The Historical Relationships of the Languages of Central Maluku, Indonesia (1983), page 70

CebuanoEdit

EtymologyEdit

Blend of wala (not) +‎ ilhi (known, recognized)

PronunciationEdit

  • (General Cebuano) IPA(key): /ˈwaˌil̪/
  • Rhymes: -il̪
  • Hyphenation: wa‧il

NounEdit

wail

  1. an insignificant person
  2. an unknown person or thing
  3. an unknown celebrity or politician