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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.plaintiveness - expressing sorrowfulness
mournfulness, ruthfulness, sorrowfulness - a state of gloomy sorrow
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
شَجى، أسى
panaszkodási hajlampanaszosság


(ˈpleintiv) adjective
sounding sad or sorrowful. a plaintive cry.
ˈplaintively adverb
ˈplaintiveness noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
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. A loud or low expression of anguish -- the whisper, or the shriek, as it might be conceived, of suffering humanity, that touched a sensibility in every bosom!
The merit of this bird's strain is in its freedom from all plaintiveness. The singer can easily move us to tears or to laughter, but where is he who can excite in us a pure morning joy?
He also, with strained plaintiveness, scribbles "Deus Ex Machina" in a notebook.
When she writes, "And you won't find me / Oh no, you won't find me" or "And you won't see me" or "And you won't catch me," one recalls the "He's Not Here" persona of Dylan; or the hiding behind a mask of Joni Mitchell on Don Juan's Reckless Daughter; or then again, one hears strains of the great country songsmith Cindy Walker, who proclaimed that "You don't know me." The maritime plaintiveness of the Newfoundland legend Ron Hynes comes through in her sadder laments.
("How many anthems do you need in one musical?" Robert asks with mock plaintiveness.) But the new song certainly helps achieve the depth of character that the creators hoped to bring to the stage.
The tonal center is much clearer and the rhythmic patterns are considerably less complex; the clarity and simplicity of the harmony, melodic contour, and texture create an air of sincerity and plaintiveness. Indeed, these characteristics, combined with the broad phrases, place the text and the quality of the singer's voice on full display.
The painter's raw power lies in her injection of a distinctly mortal frailty into her pantheon, imbuing her portraits with a plaintiveness shades deeper even than the blue Aegean.
"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. It ends with Alana and Este pounding a syncopated rhythm on the drums; the chorus has grown less needy and more defiant.
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).