noun eu·lo·gy \ ˈyü-lə-jē \
|Updated on: 19 Aug 2018

Definition of eulogy

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


play \ˌyü-lə-ˈji-stik\ adjective


play \ˌyü-lə-ˈji-sti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of eulogy in a Sentence

  1. He delivered a moving eulogy at his father's funeral.

  2. several eulogies were given at the special assembly marking the retirement of the company's longtime president

Recent Examples of eulogy from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of eulogy

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

EULOGY Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of eulogy for English Language Learners

  • : a speech that praises someone who has died

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