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1. Resembling a wail; mournful.
2. Issuing a sound resembling a wail.

wail′ful·ly adv.


(ˈweɪl fəl)

mournful; plaintive.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.wailful - vocally expressing grief or sorrow or resembling such expressionwailful - vocally expressing grief or sorrow or resembling such expression; "lamenting sinners"; "wailing mourners"; "the wailing wind"; "wailful bagpipes"; "tangle her desires with wailful sonnets"- Shakespeare
sorrowful - experiencing or marked by or expressing sorrow especially that associated with irreparable loss; "sorrowful widows"; "a sorrowful tale of death and despair"; "sorrowful news"; "even in laughter the heart is sorrowful"- Proverbs 14:13
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References in classic literature ?
The men wavered in indecision for a moment, and then with a long, wailful cry the dilapidated regiment surged forward and began its new journey.
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,--While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, And touch the stubble-plains with rosey hue; Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn Among the river sallows, borne aloft Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies; And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft; And gathering swallows twitter in skies.
But "To Autumn" binds the "almost" living and the "almost" dead in a vision of nature at this brink: a wailful choir that is borne aloft or sinks, and that does so by the accidence of wind, attended by the sounds of natures breath.