Simple Definition of threnody
: a song or poem that expresses sorrow for someone who is dead
Full Definition of threnodyplural
: a song of lamentation for the dead : elegy
Examples of threnody in a sentence
<the composer's cello concerto was composed as a moving threnody for his late wife>
Did You Know?
Threnody encompasses all genres. There are great threnodies in prose (such as the lines from Charles Dickens’ Bleak House upon the death of Little Jo: "Dead, your Majesty. Dead, my lords and gentlemen. Dead…."), in poetry (as in W. H. Auden’s "Funeral Blues": "The stars are not wanted now: put out every one, / Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun…."), and in music (Giovanni Pergolesi’s "Stabat Mater," for one). Threnody, which we borrowed from the Greek word thrēnōidia (from thrēnos, the word for "dirge"), has survived in English since the early 1600s. Melody, tragedy, and comedy are related to threnody through the Greek root that forms their ending-aeidein, which means "to sing."
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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for threnody
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