noun \ˌtra-ji-ˈkä-mə-dē\

: a play, movie, situation, etc., that is both sad and funny

Full Definition of TRAGICOMEDY

:  a drama or a situation blending tragic and comic elements


  1. The play is a tragicomedy about a man's search for love.


Middle French tragicomedie, from Old Italian tragicomedia, from Old Spanish, from Latin tragicomoedia, from tragicus + comoedia comedy
First Known Use: circa 1580


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Literary genre consisting of dramas that combine elements of tragedy and comedy. Plautus coined the Latin word tragicocomoedia to denote a play in which gods and mortals, masters and slaves reverse the roles traditionally assigned to them. In the Renaissance and after, tragicomedy was mainly comic, though Elizabethan and Jacobean tragedies almost always include some comic or grotesque elements. Modern tragicomedy is sometimes used synonymously with absurdist drama, which suggests that laughter is the only response left to people faced with an empty and meaningless existence.


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