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

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Synonyms for requiem


dirge, elegy, lament, threnody

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Examples of requiem in a Sentence

the choir will sing Mozart's Requiem

Recent Examples on the Web

In El Paso, a requiem Mass will be offered for 15-year-old Javier Amir Rodriguez. Washington Post, "The Latest: Families mourn mass shooting victims," 10 Aug. 2019 Stephen Strasburg, Nationals Please allow us this requiem for baseball’s horse. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Xander Bogaerts, Max Muncy among the biggest MLB All-Star Game snubs," 26 June 2019 Priests in white led a solemn requiem mass in Latin. Nicolas Niarchos, The New Yorker, "The Death of Simaro Lutumba Closes a Chapter of Congolese Music," 26 June 2019 The Middle Ages died dismally, and the scapegrace poet Francois Villon sang their requiem in the wineshops of the Cité. Bruce Dale, National Geographic, "Adored, neglected, and restored: A 1968 Nat Geo feature explored Notre Dame," 17 Apr. 2019 This is vintage Morris—the mundane mingling with the majestic in a casual embrace, a regular walk quickened by Welsh military marches and stirring requiems. Danny Heitman, WSJ, "‘In My Mind’s Eye’ Review: Marching Through the Days," 4 Jan. 2019 Since then, composers of requiems have commonly mixed sacred and secular texts. Barbara Jepson, WSJ, "Benjamin Britten’s ‘War Requiem’ Review: Mixing Sacred and Secular," 30 Nov. 2018 The poignant song served as a kind of requiem reflecting the themes of death and loss sincerely depicted in the drama, and captured the hearts of viewers even before the song actually went on sale. Billboard Japan, Billboard, "Kenshi Yonezu's 'Lemon' Music Video Tops 100 Million Views," 15 June 2018 And then there are requiems that confront mortality with calmness and serenity, like those of French composers Gabriel Fauré and Maurice Duruflé. Patrick Neas, kansascity, "Kansas City Symphony Chorus’ requiem will offer a balm for the soul | The Kansas City Star," 11 May 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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Statistics for requiem

Last Updated

26 Aug 2019

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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 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

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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).


suitable to be imparted to the public

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