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

This moment was met with great applause from those in attendance, who hung on Meghan's every word throughout her eulogy. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan McCain’s Eulogy for John McCain Is an Inspiring Criticism of the Trump Administration," 1 Sep. 2018 Kandee Johnson, Christen Dominique, Katy DeGroot, Shayla Mitchell & Chrisspy will all be in attendance, with a eulogy by Nicole Richie. Marci Robin, Allure, "Urban Decay Is Discontinuing the Original Naked Palette, and I'm Not Crying, You're Crying," 23 Aug. 2018 Read the full transcript of Kissinger's eulogy here: Our country has had the good fortune that at times of national trial a few great personalities have emerged to remind us of our essential unity and inspire us our sustaining values. Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, "Read the Full Transcript of Henry Kissinger's Eulogy for John McCain," 1 Sep. 2018 John Oliver delivered a mock eulogy and produced a highlight reel of financial analysts laughing glibly at the company's demise. Michael J. Mooney, Popular Mechanics, "Is RadioShack Back?," 1 Apr. 2016 The woman who has died, Ellen, is the mother of Annie Graham (Toni Collette), and the eulogy Annie delivers at the funeral is curious at best. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "'Hereditary:' 127 minutes of pure horror," 7 June 2018 While an elegy focuses on feelings of sadness, a eulogy is all about praise, celebrating the life of the departed and his or her character and achievements. Melissa Mohr, The Christian Science Monitor, "From one word lover to another," 2 Apr. 2018 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

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

9 Dec 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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Comments on eulogy

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