dirge

noun \ ˈdərj \
Updated on: 10 Nov 2017

Definition of dirge

1 :a song or hymn of grief or lamentation; especially :one intended to accompany funeral or memorial rites
  • a funeral dirge
2 :a slow, solemn, and mournful piece of music
3 :something (such as a poem) that has the qualities of a dirge

dirgelike

play \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of dirge in a Sentence

  1. bagpipes played a haunting dirge at the funeral for the fallen leader

Recent Examples of dirge from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dirge.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

The meaning of English dirge is not directly related to the meaning of the Latin word it comes from. Dirge and its earlier form dirige, meaning “a song or hymn of mourning,” come from the first word of a Latin chant used in the church service for the dead: “Dirige, Domine deus meus, in conspectutuo viam meam” (Direct, O Lord my God, my way in thy sight). Because hymns and chants were often referred to by their first words, dirge became the common word for this chant. Later it was used for ant slow, solemn piece of music.

Origin and Etymology of dirge

Middle English dirige, the Office of the Dead, from the first word of a Late Latin antiphon, from Latin, imperative of dirigere to direct — more at dress

dirge Synonyms

Synonyms
lament, elegy, requiem, threnody
Related Words
taps; elegiac (also elegiacal), monody
Near Antonyms
encomium, eulogy, paean, panegyric

DIRGE Defined for English Language Learners

dirge

noun

Definition of dirge for English Language Learners

  • : a slow song that expresses sadness or sorrow



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