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

Example Sentences

the choir will sing Mozart's Requiem
Recent Examples on the Web Instead, he’s crafted a peculiar little requiem for outsider art, a peep into a world where even the strangest conceits can become blasé. David Sims, The Atlantic, 2 June 2022 Conceived as a requiem for his 30-year-old daughter, who died in childbirth, the 45-minute symphony unfolds in one continuous movement with four distinct sections. Dallas News, 21 Jan. 2022 Displayed side-by-side, the monumental acrylic and oilstick on paper mounted on canvas works can be read (or heard) as Basquiat’s requiem. Natasha Gural, Forbes, 24 Jan. 2023 Did Salieri really commission Mozart to write a requiem for his father to send him to his grave? Vulture, 9 Nov. 2022 This requiem for a heavyweight doesn’t reach those heights of realism or depths of compassion, however, as Charlie veers from being a thoroughly sympathetic protagonist to an object of voyeuristic pity and almost zoolike fascination. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 20 Dec. 2022 The listings approved last week are dominated by requiem sharks, which make up most of the global fin trade. Byerik Stokstad,, 21 Nov. 2022 Some countries had argued that including all species of requiem sharks was an abuse of the listing process. Dinah Voyles Pulver, USA TODAY, 27 Nov. 2022 One of the biggest achievement this year was increasing or providing protection for more than 90 shark species, including 54 species of requiem sharks, the bonnethead shark, three species of hammerhead shark and 37 species of guitarfish. Kathia MartÍnez, ajc, 27 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'requiem.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 28 Mar. 2023.

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

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