eu·​lo·​gy | \ ˈyü-lə-jē How to pronounce eulogy (audio) \
plural eulogies

Definition of eulogy

1 : a commendatory oration or writing especially in honor of one deceased she delivered the eulogy at his funeral
2 : high praise

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Other Words from eulogy

eulogistic \ ˌyü-​lə-​ˈji-​stik How to pronounce eulogistic (audio) \ adjective
eulogistically \ ˌyü-​lə-​ˈji-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce eulogistically (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for eulogy

encomium, eulogy, panegyric, tribute, citation mean a formal expression of praise. encomium implies enthusiasm and warmth in praising a person or a thing. received encomiums from literary critics eulogy applies to a prepared speech or writing extolling the virtues and services of a person. delivered the eulogy at the funeral service panegyric suggests an elaborate often poetic compliment. her lyrical memoir was a panegyric to her mentor tribute implies deeply felt praise conveyed either through words or through a significant act. the concert was a musical tribute to the early jazz masters citation applies to the formal praise of a person offered in a military dispatch or in awarding an honorary degree. earned a citation for bravery

Elegy vs. Eulogy

Both elegy and eulogy may be used about writing or speech in remembrance of a person who has passed away, and this semantic overlap creates the potential for confusion. Elegy (which may be traced to the Greek word elegos, “song of mourning”) commonly refers to a song or poem lamenting one who is dead; the word may also refer somewhat figuratively to a nostalgic poem, or to a kind of musical composition. While eulogy is also commonly found referring to words about the deceased, its basic meaning, both in English and in the Greek language from which it was borrowed, is “praise.” Formed from the Greek roots eu “good” and logos “speech,” a eulogy is an encomium given for one who is either living or dead. If you are praising your partner’s unsurpassed beauty or commending the virtues of the deceased at a funeral, you are delivering a eulogy; if you are composing a lamenting reminiscence about a person who has long since passed, you are writing an elegy.

Eulogies Aren't Only for Funerals

With its -logy ending, eulogy means literally something like "good speech". We are told to speak only good of the dead, but a eulogist actually makes a speech in the dead person's honor--or often instead for someone living, who might actually be there in the audience. The most famous eulogies include Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and Pericles' funeral oration for the Athenian warriors; but these are only two of the many great eulogies, which continue to be delivered not only at funerals and memorial services but at retirement parties, anniversary parties, and birthday parties.

Examples of eulogy in a Sentence

He delivered a moving eulogy at his father's funeral. several eulogies were given at the special assembly marking the retirement of the company's longtime president

Recent Examples on the Web

His sister Christine’s, though, was to bolt toward a car once the eulogies concluded. Kent Babb / Washington Post, Twin Cities, "MN native and olympic cyclist Kelly Catlin could do it all — until it all became too much," 29 July 2019 Last Tuesday, at the funeral for the Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered a eulogy. Tyler Foggatt, The New Yorker, "Justice Stevens’s Dissenting Shakespeare Theory," 29 July 2019 This is despite the aggressive nationalism prevalent in India today as evidenced by the many landmarks dedicated to the war’s heroes and Bollywood’s many eulogies to them. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "The average young Indian’s view on the Kargil War is shaped by Bollywood and nationalism," 25 July 2019 An Icelandic author has written a eulogy on a memorial plaque for the lost glacier and plan to place it atop Okjökull Mountain on August 18, 2019. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Climate Change Has Claimed Its First Icelandic Glacier," 22 July 2019 Joe and his family picked the then-president, Barack Obama, to deliver the eulogy at Beau's funeral. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "How Joe Biden Is Making Sure His Late Son Beau Is With Him on the Campaign Trail," 26 June 2019 Here’s an extensive eulogy for NBA streaming subreddit /r/nbastreams. ...for a moving poetry podcast on grief, and for giving Jordan Loyd’s parade t-shirt its due. Jacob Feldman,, "2019 NBA Draft Media Preview: What to Expect from TV Broadcasts, Twitter and More," 20 June 2019 Italy's military chaplain, Archbishop Santo Marciano, said in his eulogy that Cerciello Rega lived and died to safeguard others' lives, adding that the officer was known for warmly greeting residents of the neighborhood in historic Rome. NBC News, "American teen claims he knifed Italian officer in self-defense, judge says," 29 July 2019 Ginsburg said in her eulogy to the late justice, delivered at his funeral on July 23. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg wishes to inform you she’s still “very much alive”," 24 July 2019

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

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First Known Use of eulogy

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for eulogy

Middle English euloge, from Medieval Latin eulogium, from Greek eulogia praise, from eu- + -logia -logy

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Statistics for eulogy

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for eulogy

The first known use of eulogy was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of eulogy

: a speech that praises someone who has died

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