also  ˈrā-,
ˈrē- How to pronounce requiem (audio)
: a mass for the dead
: a solemn chant (such as a dirge) for the repose of the dead
: something that resembles such a solemn chant
: a musical setting of the mass for the dead
: a musical composition in honor of the dead

Examples of requiem in a Sentence

the choir will sing Mozart's Requiem
Recent Examples on the Web Some of my colleagues have written requiems for the Tea Party. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 15 May 2024 Let this be not a requiem for Clark but an appreciation. Greg Cote, Miami Herald, 9 Apr. 2024 Beyoncé has signed Giddens’s petition of requiem and reckoning, legacy and elegy. Lindsay Zoladz, New York Times, 2 Apr. 2024 Equal parts requiem, oratorio, and manifesto, Angel Island tells the collective story of Chinese immigrants held at a notorious detention center in San Francisco Bay. An Epic Set, Vulture, 16 Jan. 2024 Think of it as a show devoted to unsustainable fashion, one that could function as a requiem, a warning sign and a reminder of the fundamental importance of regeneration. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, 8 Nov. 2023 Addison wrote the requiem over an eight-month period, giving him time to reflect on the man his father was and capture that in music. Greg Moran, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Oct. 2023 Jackson’s Requiem, for unaccompanied voices, follows Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem in interspersing non-liturgical poems among traditional words of the Latin requiem — although only the Introit, Sanctus and Benedictus and Lux aeterna. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 16 Sep. 2023 Depicting an aging, ill Meir during the most difficult years of her long career, Golda is the prime minister’s requiem, Nattiv says. Sonja Anderson, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Aug. 2023

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

Word History


Middle English, from Latin (first word of the introit of the requiem mass), accusative of requies rest, from re- + quies quiet, rest — more at while

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of requiem was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near requiem

Cite this Entry

“Requiem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


re·​qui·​em ˈrek-wē-əm How to pronounce requiem (audio)
 also  ˈrāk-,
 or  ˈrēk-
: a mass for a dead person
: a musical service or composition in honor of the dead

Middle English requiem "a mass for the dead," from Latin requiem "rest," the first word of the phrase Requiem aeternum dona eis "Eternal rest grant to them," said or sung at the begining of the mass

More from Merriam-Webster on requiem

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!