jeremiad

noun
jer·e·mi·ad | \ˌjer-ə-ˈmī-əd, -ˌad\

Definition of jeremiad 

: 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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Did You Know?

Jeremiah was a naysayer. That Jewish prophet, who lived from about 650 to 570 BC, 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 Old Testament's 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 actually 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

What these scholars offer is not a dense political tome but a lively jeremiad. David Hawpe, The Courier-Journal, "Book review: There's more political warfare and polarization in Trump's future," 4 June 2018 The anti-Trump jeremiads came amid a roiling national debate over the president’s feelings about people of color. Joshua Miller, BostonGlobe.com, "State’s politicians assail Trump on MLK Day as ‘racist’," 15 Jan. 2018 Unlike some recent anti-tech jeremiads (including Keen’s two earlier books), the author portrays our current Internet dystopia in a larger context of human history. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "How to Take the Internet Back From the Tech Companies," 6 Feb. 2018 For many Americans, especially those disillusioned with Washington, a jeremiad over the imminent threat to all of America from Mr Trump simply does not ring true. The Economist, "American politicsThe one-year-old Trump presidency," 13 Jan. 2018 In a post-election jeremiad in Counterpunch, journalist Paul Street attacked Jones for running an ad that told the story of two Civil War soldiers — one from Alabama, one from Maine — to make a point about togetherness. David Weigel, Washington Post, "Doug Jones, eager to speak for the South, embraces the spotlight," 15 Dec. 2017 DeVos rejected the false dichotomy that insists that the case for school choice rests on jeremiads against traditional public schools. Grant Addison, National Review, "Betsy DeVos vs. the Mindless Mob at Harvard," 2 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jeremiad.' 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 jeremiad

1780, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jeremiad

French jérémiade, from Jérémie Jeremiah, from Late Latin Jeremias

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The first known use of jeremiad was in 1780

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