jeremiad

noun
jer·​e·​mi·​ad | \ ˌjer-ə-ˈmī-əd How to pronounce jeremiad (audio) , -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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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 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 But the Education is certainly an American jeremiad. Brenda Wineapple, The New York Review of Books, 8 Apr. 2021 After this jeremiad for a nation in crisis, one wonders how Osnos can possibly suggest a way out. Washington Post, 17 Sep. 2021 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 But the Education is certainly an American jeremiad. Brenda Wineapple, The New York Review of Books, 8 Apr. 2021 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 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 See More

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.

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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Cite this Entry

“Jeremiad.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jeremiad. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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