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wail (v.)

c. 1300 (intransitive); mid-14c. (transitive), from Old Norse væla "to lament," from "woe" (see woe). Of jazz musicians, "to play very well," attested from 1955, American English slang (wailing "excellent" is attested from 1954). Related: Wailed; wailer.

wail (n.)

c. 1300; see wail (v.).

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Definitions of wail from WordNet
1
wail (v.)
emit long loud cries;
wail in self-pity
Synonyms: howl / ululate / roar / yawl / yaup
wail (v.)
cry weakly or softly;
she wailed with pain
Synonyms: whimper / mewl / pule
2
wail (n.)
a cry of sorrow and grief;
Synonyms: lament / lamentation / plaint
From wordnet.princeton.edu