se·​rio·​com·​ic ˌsir-ē-ō-ˈkä-mik How to pronounce seriocomic (audio)
: having a mixture of the serious and the comic
a seriocomic novel
seriocomically adverb

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Seriocomic may have a modern ring to it, but our earliest evidence of the word in print is from 1783. Another "comic" word-heroicomic, meaning "comic by being ludicrously noble, bold, or elevated"-is slightly older; evidence of it dates to 1756. Both words are about a century younger than our third "comic" word, "tragicomic" ("manifesting both tragic and comic aspects"), which print evidence dates to 1683. (Evidence of the variant "tragicomical," however, dates all the way back to 1567.)

Examples of seriocomic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Transferring the seriocomic but socially conscious tone and hometown pride of the film into a half-hour format, the series finds a new alchemy of its own thanks to Diggs’ and Casal’s atypical-in-Hollywood choice to shift away from their own characters. Jen Yamato, Los Angeles Times, 21 June 2021 This new seriocomic series created by Lee Sung Jin (whose writing credits include Dave and Tuca & Bertie) traces what happens when a near-miss in a parking lot escalates into road rage that in turn escalates into an ongoing feud. Keith Phipps, Rolling Stone, 4 Apr. 2023 On TV screens, sound bites from the presidential election add a wash of seriocomic disaster unfolding in slow motion. Michael Phillips,, 15 Dec. 2021 The seriocomic pelicans with their accordion-pleated pouches are the delight of every tourist who visits the beaches of Florida or California. Discover Magazine, 18 Jan. 2013 The seriocomic vote for speaker of the house is sure to be banned from future Florida civics and political science textbooks. Nick Canepacolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Jan. 2023 The gift mixup provides a clever starting premise for this kind of lightweight seriocomic tale. Dennis Harvey, Variety, 7 Dec. 2022 The collaboration between director Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner continues, enticingly, with this seriocomic semi-autobiographical portrait of a great American filmmaker’s early years. Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, 1 Sep. 2022 The film’s secret weapon, however, is the fifth Basco child — fellow artist and filmmaker Arianna — who narrates the seriocomic proceedings and provides the clear-eyed perspective of a sister in a household dominated by men. Los Angeles Times, 17 Feb. 2022

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

Word History


serious + -o- + comic

First Known Use

1783, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of seriocomic was in 1783


Dictionary Entries Near seriocomic

Cite this Entry

“Seriocomic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

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