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

And Earl Spencer, also known as Charles Spencer, famously gave a powerful eulogy at Diana's funeral in 1997. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "There's a Subtle Nod to Princess Diana in the Royal Baby Announcement," 6 May 2019 Both served more than three decades in the Senate, and Biden gave a eulogy at one of McCain’s funerals in August. Mary Clare Jalonick, The Seattle Times, "From Africa to the anteroom: Flake, Coons forge rare bond," 2 Oct. 2018 Esiason was asked to give the eulogy at O’Brien’s funeral. Peter King, SI.com, "Thank You, Thank You, Thank You: Peter King Says Farewell to SI’s Monday Morning QB," 21 May 2018 Sharpton is scheduled to give a eulogy at Clark’s funeral at 11 a.m. Thursday at south Sacramento’s Bayside Boss Church. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "Who is Al Sharpton, the man eulogizing Stephon Clark? | The Sacramento Bee," 28 Mar. 2018 The play is thus a eulogy, as Mr. Beau mouths, on video, reminiscences of that performance from Richard Eyre, who directed the production; John Wood, Mr. Charleson’s agent; Sean Matthias, his close friend; and Mr. McKellen. Jesse Green, New York Times, "In Solo Shows, Lip-Syncing ‘Hamlet’ and Investigating Home Movies," 9 Jan. 2018 Ironically, Biden is scheduled to speak Thursday at a McCain memorial service in the senator’s home state of Arizona, while Obama has been invited to deliver a eulogy Saturday at a McCain memorial service in Washington, D.C. Dom Calicchio, Fox News, "Sarah Palin not invited to McCain funeral: reports," 30 Aug. 2018 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

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

13 May 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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