Basic+ Word of the Day: moan

moan (noun, verb) past tense: moaned LISTEN

A moan is a low, sad or miserable sound from someone suffering or complaining.

  • The boss ignored the moans of her team when she assigned them new projects.
  • When Jessica heard moans from her son's room, she knew he was having a bad dream.

Moan also means ‘to say with a moan.’

  • "Why do bad things always happen to me?" Edna moaned.
  • "If you don't like your job, don't moan; find a new one."
  • Steve's back hurt so much that he moaned every time he stood up.

Did you know?

Moan and groan is an expression that means ‘to complain.’ Example: “Richard is always moaning and groaning about his life.” But moan and groan are very similar in meaning. If you want to see our user discussions about usage of these two words, separately and together, check out our user forum at the bottom of the definition of each word. And if you have a similar question, start a discussion of your own on any word.

In pop culture

Listen to Danish DJ Trentemoller’s song “Moan.” Why do you think the singer is moaning?

There are other meanings of moan.
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