Definition of threnody
: a song of lamentation for the dead : elegy
threnody was our Word of the Day on 11/13/2014. Hear the podcast!
Examples of threnody in a sentence
the composer's cello concerto was composed as a moving threnody for his late wife
Did You Know?
Threnody encompasses all genres. There are great threnodies in prose (such as the lines from Charles Dickens’ Bleak House upon the death of Little Jo: "Dead, your Majesty. Dead, my lords and gentlemen. Dead…."), in poetry (as in W. H. Auden’s "Funeral Blues": "The stars are not wanted now: put out every one, / Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun…."), and in music (Giovanni Pergolesi’s "Stabat Mater," for one). Threnody, which we borrowed from the Greek word thrēnōidia (from thrēnos, the word for "dirge"), has survived in English since the early 1600s. Melody, tragedy, and comedy are related to threnody through the Greek root that forms their ending-aeidein, which means "to sing."
THRENODY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of threnody for English Language Learners
: a song or poem that expresses sorrow for someone who is dead
Learn More about threnody
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for threnody
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