re·qui·em | \ˈre-kwē-əm also ˈrā- or ˈrē- \

Definition of requiem 

1 : a mass for the dead

2a : a solemn chant (such as a dirge) for the repose of the dead

b : something that resembles such a solemn chant

3a : a musical setting of the mass for the dead

b : a musical composition in honor of the dead

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Synonyms for requiem


dirge, elegy, lament

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Examples of requiem in a Sentence

the choir will sing Mozart's Requiem

Recent Examples on the Web

There are stormy requiems, like Mozart’s and Verdi’s, that raise the dead with thunder and earthquakes. Patrick Neas, kansascity, "Kansas City Symphony Chorus’ requiem will offer a balm for the soul | The Kansas City Star," 11 May 2018 More than 500 attended his requiem Mass at Sacred Heart Church, where Bishop Eric F. MacKenzie delivered the eulogy. Thomas Farragher,, "Paul Sullivan died in Vietnam 50 years ago. And his family has kept his memory alive ever since," 22 June 2018 This time the requiem is for the white ash tree, a once-abundant, now doomed resource that for more than a century provided northwestern Pennsylvania with industry and identity. Frank Fitzpatrick,, "Ashes of an industry: A Pennsylvania tradition is dying, one baseball bat at a time," 14 June 2018 On the program is the Missa de Profunctis, written for the requiem of King Henry IV of France. Patrick Neas, kansascity, "KC Symphony takes on a user-friendly adaptation of Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle | The Kansas City Star," 24 May 2018 Almost all the themes in Duruflé’s requiem are taken from the chants of the Gregorian Requiem, giving the work a timeless, mystical quality. Patrick Neas, kansascity, "Kansas City Symphony Chorus’ requiem will offer a balm for the soul | The Kansas City Star," 11 May 2018 The book is something of a requiem and a rhapsody combined. Leah Garchik, San Francisco Chronicle, "Adopting lessons from the French Laundry for use at home," 28 Feb. 2018 His requiem Mass was offered at St. Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church on East Lombard Street, a parish with numerous German-speaking members. Jacques Kelly,, "Jacques Kelly: Pieces of Baltimore past often surface in 'ghost' signs," 31 Mar. 2018 Forrest’s unusual requiem emphasizes life for the living. Robert Knox,, "Chorus offers nature music in the key of spring," 29 Mar. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of requiem

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for requiem

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

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Time Traveler for requiem

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

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More Definitions for requiem



English Language Learners Definition of requiem

: a Christian religious ceremony for a dead person

: a piece of music for a requiem


re·qui·em | \ˈre-kwē-əm \

Kids Definition of requiem

1 : a mass for a dead person

2 : a musical service or hymn in honor of dead people

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Comments on requiem

What made you want to look up requiem? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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