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Expressing sorrow; mournful or melancholy.

[Middle English plaintif, from Old French, aggrieved, lamenting, from plaint, complaint; see plaint.]

plain′tive·ly adv.
plain′tive·ness n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.plaintiveness - expressing sorrowfulness
mournfulness, ruthfulness, sorrowfulness - a state of gloomy sorrow
شَجى، أسى
panaszkodási hajlampanaszosság


(ˈpleintiv) adjective
sounding sad or sorrowful. a plaintive cry.
ˈplaintively adverb
ˈplaintiveness noun
References in classic literature ?
It was far down the afternoon; and when all the spearings of the crimson fight were done: and floating in the lovely sunset sea and sky, sun and whale both stilly died together; then, such a sweetness and such plaintiveness, such inwreathing orisons curled up in that rosy air, that it almost seemed as if far over from the deep green convent valleys of the Manilla isles, the Spanish land-breeze, wantonly turned sailor, had gone to sea, freighted with these vesper hymns.
And yet, majestic as the voice sometimes became, there was for ever in it an essential character of plaintiveness.
The merit of this bird's strain is in its freedom from all plaintiveness.
Gave you my love, you gave me nothing," she begins, and Este joins in for the chorus - "Now you're saying you need me, right now" - then comes Alana, with the guitar peals, a counterpoint to the singer's plaintiveness.
In Circuito imperial, a collection of articles published after the author's travels in Europe in the late 1920s, he had already complained about the poetics of plaintiveness that he said motivated Larra's and Ortega y Gasset's writings on Spain, calling instead for a poetics of bravery and force (56).
The Choral Society was similar and, with the technique they have developed in recent years under Chorus Master Joseph Cullen and Deputy Chorus Master Darius Battiwalla, they can now do it all - on this occasion grandeur, mystery, expression and plaintiveness.
One reader even declared that its 'now cynical, now tender, contrasts' contained 'a wistful, haunting plaintiveness that finds a ready access to the heart' (Forbes 1894: 297).
6) That Hart was a powerful individual who was used to getting his way in most situations seems only to have fueled the bluster with which he sought to exercise his discursive will, as well as the concomitant plaintiveness that accompanied his every utterance.
16) (In the US, Marxist critic Harry Alan Potamkin saw a similar sentimental obfuscation: "The wish to emphasize paradise is a typical plaintiveness in the soul of the movie-man.
The expressive, plaintive refrains are notable here; it is, as McGuirk claims, 'an exceptionally fine song', (71) and it is the plaintiveness of Burns's voice which Clare achieves in 'Song: O wert thou in the storm': (72)
Grubinger is also a big-band fanatic, and is obviously at home with colleagues in that field, with whom he, his father and Schmidinger performed zestfully in Latin-American offerings, ending with another Libertango, far from the plaintiveness Piazzolla envisaged, but equally telling.
The dominant theme in these poems is the continuation of the search for the beloved, expressed with understated plaintiveness in "A City Map" (Astonishments, 99).