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used in a sentence
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Definition expressing sadness — sometimes with a plea for help
  • She asked in a plaintive voice.
plaintive = sad
  • It is a plaintive poem
  • plaintive = sad
  • "I don't want no trouble," he said plaintively. "Don't let him sock me, George."
    John Steinbeck  --  Of Mice and Men
  • plaintively = in a pleading manner (almost begging)
  • She meant it for his ears alone but Hannah was close enough to him to hear every plaintive syllable.
    Jane Yolen  --  The Devils Arithmetic
  • plaintive = sorrowful or pleading
  • "Jordan, what should I do?" Monique asked plaintively.
    Sharon M. Draper  --  Forged by Fire
  • plaintively = in a sad manner
  • At the other side door his sister came plaintively: "Gregor? Aren't you well? Do you need anything?"
    Franz Kafka  --  Metamorphosis
  • plaintively = in a manner expressive of sadness
  • ...whenever she looked hard at any shelf, to make out exactly what it had on it, that particular shelf was always quite empty: though the others round it were crowded as full as they could hold.

    'Things flow about so here!' she said at last in a plaintive tone,
    Lewis Carroll  --  Through the Looking-Glass
  • plaintive = expressing sorrow or pleading
  • Winnie's mother and grandmother sat plaintive all afternoon in the parlor ...  their hair unsettled and their knees loose.
    Natalie Babbitt  --  Tuck Everlasting
  • plaintive = a little unhappy
  •   "Believe me, Winnie Foster," said Jesse, "it would be terrible for you if you drank any of this water. Just terrible. I can't let you."
      "Well, I still don't see why not," said Winnie plaintively. I'm getting thirstier every minute."
    Natalie Babbitt  --  Tuck Everlasting
  • plaintively = unhappily
  • David repeated Max's name in the same calm, plaintive tone.
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Fiend And The Forge
  • Iggy's plaintive voice made me pull back.
    James Patterson  --  Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports
  • And her mouth damp to his kisses and her eyes plaintive with melancholy and her freshness like new fine linen in the morning.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  Winter Dreams
  • The sound of the twanging strings, and the appealing vibration of his young voice in a plaintive minor air, came over to her.
    Grace MacGowan Cooke  --  The Power and the Glory
  • 'I wonder if the Railway misses us,' she said, plaintively.
    Edith Nesbit  --  The Railway Children
  • From the immediate vicinity, a plaintive moan reached Chauvelin's ears.
    Baroness Orczy  --  The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • It's plaintive and familiar, a howl in the night for what one has lost and can't get back.
    Libba Bray  --  Sweet Far Thing
  • "Do you not see?" she said, and her voice was plaintive now "An end to this business is my mother's only chance for a new beginning.
    Geraldine Brooks  --  Year of Wonders
  • She was laughing, her head tilted back, and then I heard Holiday howling plaintively, for I was back where we had both once lived.
    Alice Sebold  --  The Lovely Bones
  • A plaintive, beseeching voice caught me in the spine: "Eliezer... my son ... bring me ... a drop of coffee...."
    Elie Wiesel  --  Night
  • "Makes you feel hopeless, " she said plaintively.
    John Steinbeck  --  East of Eden

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