eulogy

noun
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

Read the full transcript of his eulogy below: Good morning. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Read the Full Transcript of George P. Bush's Eulogy for His Grandfather, George H.W. Bush," 6 Dec. 2018 In the great and terrible wilderness of history, countless millions have died badly, died foolishly, died without funerals or eulogies or gravestones. Laura Hudson, The Verge, "Why Return of the Obra Dinn is my game of the year," 21 Dec. 2018 Many friends and family members also spoke at the service, including an emotional eulogy by longtime friend James Baker, who was his secretary of state. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Reba McEntire Gives Moving Performance of 'The Lord's Prayer' at George H.W. Bush's Funeral," 6 Dec. 2018 Meghan's eulogy for her father was inspiring and pointed. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan McCain’s Eulogy for John McCain Is an Inspiring Criticism of the Trump Administration," 1 Sep. 2018 Motown legend Smokey Robinson followed with a powerful eulogy that turned into song. Fox News, "Aretha Franklin's funeral attended by Bill and Hillary Clinton, Ariana Grande and Faith Hill perform," 31 Aug. 2018 The clip features brand ambassador Nicole Richie saying a eulogy to the Naked palette, with Kandee Johnson crying in the background. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "The Urban Decay Naked Palette Is Officially Being Discontinued," 23 Aug. 2018 Today, though, the song plays not as a eulogy or a triumph for Redding, but just further confirmation that time rolls on with or without us, while all there is to do is to just sit back and whistle through it. Andrew Unterberger, Billboard, "Otis Redding's '(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay' Is the Chillest Song Ever About Existential Angst," 8 Jan. 2018 Senator McCain had another favorite poem, which his daughter Meghan mentioned during her eulogy for her father today. Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, "John McCain’s Son Jimmy Just Read His Father's Favorite Poem at the Late Senator’s Funeral," 1 Sep. 2018

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

18 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for eulogy

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

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More Definitions for eulogy

eulogy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of eulogy

: a speech that praises someone who has died

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