Definition for PLAINT

PLAINT, n. [Fr. plainte, from plaindre, to lament, from L. plango, to strike, to beat, to lament, whence complaint; Gr. πλησσω, πληττω, to strike, from the root πληγω, disused, whence πληγη, a stroke, L. plaga, Eng. plague; Goth. flekan, to lament; Sp. plañir, from the Latin. The primary sense is to strike, that is, to drive, or thrust, applied to the hand or to the voice; or the sense of complaint and lamentation is from beating the breast, as in violent grief; Sw. plagga, to beat.]

  1. Lamentation; complaint; audible expression of sorrow. From inward grief / His bursting passion into plaints thus pour'd. – Milton.
  2. Complaint; representation made of injury or wrong done. There are three just grounds of war with Spain; one of plaints; two upon defense. – Bacon.
  3. In law, a private memorial tendered to a court, in which the person sets forth his cause of action. – Blackstone.
  4. In law, a complaint; a formal accusation exhibited by a private person against an offender for a breach of law or a public offense. – Laws of N. York and Conn.

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