jer·​e·​mi·​ad ˌjer-ə-ˈmī-əd How to pronounce jeremiad (audio)
: a prolonged lamentation or complaint
also : a cautionary or angry harangue
the warnings became jeremiads against the folly of overemphasis on science and technology at the expense of man's subjective and emotional life Ada Louise Huxtable

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Jeremiah was a Jewish prophet, who lived from about 650 to 570 B.C. and spent his days lambasting the Hebrews for their false worship and social injustice and denouncing the king for his selfishness, materialism, and inequities. When not calling on his people to quit their wicked ways, he was lamenting his own lot; a portion of the biblical Book of Jeremiah is devoted to his "confessions," a series of lamentations on the hardships endured by a prophet with an unpopular message. Nowadays, English speakers use Jeremiah for a pessimistic person and jeremiad for the way these Jeremiahs carry on. The word jeremiad was borrowed from the French, who coined it as jérémiade.

Examples of jeremiad in a Sentence

a jeremiad against the political apathy shown by so many young people
Recent Examples on the Web Tocqueville rose in the assembly on January 29, 1848, to deliver a jeremiad. Dan McLaughlin, National Review, 26 Dec. 2023 In his famous jeremiad against hackneyed political rhetoric, Orwell pointed to a pernicious cycle. Washington Post, 11 Nov. 2020 This issue is particularly famous for Mona Eltahaway's jeremiad against Arab male culture, and their attitudes toward women. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 29 Apr. 2012 The piece is a jeremiad against good taste and Hollywood conservatism. Wesley Morris, New York Times, 12 Oct. 2022 Buchanan went before a nationwide audience and delivered a startling jeremiad. Joel Mathis, The Week, 14 July 2022 This slim book on the legacies of colonialism has been described variously as a jeremiad and a mock travel guide. Bo Seo, The Atlantic, 1 June 2022 None of this should be read as a jeremiad against difficult, encyclopedic texts—The Books of Jacob is a refreshing reprieve from a ketogenic diet of Iowa realism and Rooneyesque alienation. Jake Bittle, The New Republic, 2 Mar. 2022 The speaker ends her jeremiad, and the only people to clap are the members of Die Linke, isolated in the far-left section of the chamber. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 11 Aug. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'jeremiad.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French jérémiade, from Jérémie Jeremiah, from Late Latin Jeremias

First Known Use

1780, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of jeremiad was in 1780


Dictionary Entries Near jeremiad

Cite this Entry

“Jeremiad.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

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