re·​qui·​em | \ ˈre-kwē-əm also ˈrā- or ˈrē- How to pronounce requiem (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for requiem


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of requiem in a Sentence

the choir will sing Mozart's Requiem
Recent Examples on the Web Viewed today, the show’s quirky communitarianism — its idea of America as a polymorphous, all-welcoming dance party — feels like both celebration and requiem for the irreplaceable delight dancing together on a stage. James Poniewozik, New York Times, "‘The West Wing’ and David Byrne Stage America," 16 Oct. 2020 A perfect day for a sailor’s requiem just outside the Golden Gate at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Carl Nolte,, "Requiem at edge of Pacific sends 2 old salts sailing into eternity," 3 Oct. 2020 Mr Noseda hopes to perform Mozart’s requiem to honour the more than 100,000 dead in America. E.b., The Economist, "Grant them rest In times of shared grief, requiems have offered solace," 1 June 2020 In the next act, a flutist-cat works with percussionists to perform a requiem. New York Times, "Music, Theater and More to Experience at Home This Weekend," 2 Apr. 2020 Well, this is a requiem for the man as well as his market. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Coronavirus shutdown can alter legacy of legends – from LeBron James to Serena Williams," 19 Mar. 2020 Ken Cowan, professor of organ at The Shepherd School at Rice University, and Norman Fischer, professor of cello at The Shepherd School at Rice University, performed requiem on the album. Tracy Maness, Houston Chronicle, "Houston Chamber Choir gets first Grammy nomination," 16 Jan. 2020 Up here, a requiem mass And light to lead the clouds home To the past. Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker, "Fanny Howe Makes Sense of Beginnings and Endings," 30 Sep. 2019 In El Paso, a requiem Mass was offered for 15-year-old Javier Amir Rodriguez, a high school sophomore and avid soccer player who was at the Walmart with his uncle when he was killed. Washington Post, "Families mourn, bury those killed in Ohio, Texas shootings," 10 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about requiem

Time Traveler for requiem

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for requiem

Last Updated

26 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Requiem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for requiem


How to pronounce requiem (audio)

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 How to pronounce requiem (audio) \

Kids Definition of requiem

1 : a mass for a dead person
2 : a musical service or hymn in honor of dead people

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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