Definition of elegy
1 : a poem in elegiac couplets
2a : a song or poem expressing sorrow or lamentation especially for one who is deadb : something (such as a speech) resembling such a song or poem
3a : a pensive or reflective poem that is usually nostalgic or melancholyb : a short pensive musical composition
Examples of elegy in a Sentence
“O Captain! My Captain!” is Walt Whitman's elegy on the death of President Lincoln
Recent Examples of elegy from the Web
Grey’s words, spoken on the eve of the First World War, are sometimes seen as an elegy for a halcyon period of globalization, peace, and prosperity.
That small scheduling decision effectively transformed what was already a poignant story into the perfect public elegy for these two women.
That is the uncomfortable truth at the core of Mr. Guerra’s tragic cinematic elegy for vanished indigenous civilizations in the Amazon jungle.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elegy'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of elegy
Latin elegia poem in elegiac couplets, from Greek elegeia, elegeion, from elegos song of mourning
First Known Use: 1501See Words from the same year
ELEGY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of elegy for English Language Learners
: a sad poem or song : a poem or song that expresses sorrow for someone who is dead
Seen and Heard
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