eulogy

noun
eu·lo·gy | \ˈyü-lə-jē \
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 \ adjective
eulogistically \ˌyü-lə-ˈji-sti-k(ə-)lē \ 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

The heaviness of giving a eulogy for a son who never had a chance to breathe. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "ESPN's Tony Reali delivered a powerful on-air reflection on losing his child," 18 June 2018 Pamela Stanich - whose 17-year-old son, Jared Black, was among the eight students killed - was one of the parents who met with Mr. Trump, presenting him with a family statement and a copy of her son's eulogy. CBS News, "Texas school shooting victim's mother says talking to Trump "like talking to a toddler"," 1 June 2018 But Thompson, a character as old as Spider-Man himself, deserves a eulogy, even if the relationship between comics and film means taking him off the board in favor of a more iconic status quo. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "A Eulogy for a Fallen Spider-Man Character," 31 May 2018 The end of the eulogy echoed its start: The gym double doors stage right swung open to reveal Kevin Sharp’s race car parked just outside. USA TODAY, "Family, friends mourn Iowa family of four killed while on vacation in Mexico," 31 Mar. 2018 More than 500 attended his requiem Mass at Sacred Heart Church, where Bishop Eric F. MacKenzie delivered the eulogy. Thomas Farragher, BostonGlobe.com, "Paul Sullivan died in Vietnam 50 years ago. And his family has kept his memory alive ever since," 22 June 2018 Annie, as the story opens, has just lost her mother, and at the funeral, Annie’s almost catatonic, quietly brutal eulogy is something to behold. David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle, "In ‘Hereditary’ starring Toni Collete, a family tree gets uprooted in chilling ways," 4 June 2018 In each of the eulogies given at Saturday’s celebration of life, there was at least one story about failure. Corey Elliot, Indianapolis Star, "Former IU football coach Bill Mallory's 'true legacy is found in the lives he touched'," 2 June 2018 Pamela Stanich — whose 17-year-old son, Jared Black, was among the eight students killed — was one of the parents who met with Trump, presenting him with a family statement and a copy of her son's eulogy. NBC News, "Trump meets with families affected by Texas shooting, mother calls him 'toddler'," 1 June 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

16 Sep 2018

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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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