Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

moan - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb     moan pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlemoaning
past tensemoaned
past participlemoaned
Related words
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to complain about something in an annoying way

    There’s no point in moaning and groaning.

    moan about:

    Ben was moaning about his job again.

    Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive]Sound effect if someone moans, they make a long low sound because of pain, sadness, or pleasure

    She moaned softly as he touched her.

    James continued to moan loudly as the pain intensified.

    1. a.
      [intransitive] literary if something such as the wind moans, it makes a long low sound

derived word


noun [countable]
Word Forms


a rainbow produced when water droplets in the air reflect light from the moon rather than the sun

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

platform capitalism

a way of doing business that involves recruiting large numbers of people who work for themselves using the company's platform, as used by companies such as Uber, Deliveroo and the like

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play