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

News consumers have been treated to flowery eulogies, including a few exceptionally jarring ones, by former colleagues, political opponents, editors, technocrats. Harish C Menon, Quartz India, "By only praising the dead politician, you are being the worst kind of fake," 26 Aug. 2019 That night, Bobby Murcer, Munson’s close friend who had delivered the eulogy, drove in all five runs of a 5-4 Yankees victory. Steve Borelli, USA TODAY, "Forty years later, Thurman Munson's legacy remains story," 1 Aug. 2019 Forget his simpering eulogy for the towering racist Strom Thurmond. Ted Scheinman, The New Republic, "The Historical Amnesia of Joe Biden’s Candidacy," 5 Sep. 2019 When the streets in his neighborhood were passable again after the flood, Haines painted a eulogy to his husband on the side of their home. Scott Dalton, CNN, "Their neighborhood was flooded to save Houston," 25 Aug. 2019 More on the fire: A eulogy for the bourbon that may be lost in the warehouse blaze The National Weather Service in Louisville said rain and lightning were reported in the area late Tuesday. Ben Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "Jim Beam bourbon warehouse crumbles as runoff from fire spills into Kentucky River," 3 July 2019 It had been decided that the 43rd president would give the eulogy before Mr. Trump was elected, according to a person close to the family. Alex Leary, WSJ, "Jeb Bush Hopes Father’s ‘Kinder, Gentler’ Outlook Will Prevail," 4 Dec. 2018 Obama also made a point of visiting Mandela's prison cell and gave a moving eulogy at Mandela's memorial service in 2013, saying the South African leader's life had inspired him. Andrew Meldrum, Fox News, "Obama to deliver Mandela address in likely rebuke to Trump," 17 July 2018 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

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

14 Oct 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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