tra·​ge·​di·​an | \ trə-ˈjē-dē-ən How to pronounce tragedian (audio) \

Definition of tragedian

1 : a writer of tragedies
2 : an actor specializing in tragic roles

Examples of tragedian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web New York Eugene O’Neill, the dour tragedian of 20th-century American theater, was the least likely of men to have tucked a warmhearted family comedy in between his bleak tales of life at its direst. Terry Teachout, WSJ, "‘Ah, Wilderness!’ Review: Comedy That Passes the No-Budget Test," 31 Jan. 2019 Euripides, the most irreverent of the Greek tragedians, cuts these Homeric figures down to size. Charles Mcnulty,, "'Iphigenia in Aulis' at Getty Villa: Chasing the ever-elusive Euripides," 8 Sep. 2017 Yes, a cast of eight — a big number for a straight play these days, with a big story to tell that evokes the style of such classic American tragedians as Eugene O'Neill and Tennessee Williams. Christopher Arnott,, "'The Tempest' At Playhouse On Park; 'Love's Labour's Lost' In Ridgefield," 3 Aug. 2017 The name of the island is true to myth, which suggests that someone at DC Comics has been knuckling down to Herodotus and the Greek tragedians. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Top Ten Things About Wonder Woman," 5 June 2017 There was plenty of rich material here for tragedians to debate. Mary Beard, New York Times, "A Pair of Updated Greek Tragedies Startle Us Anew," 11 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tragedian.' 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 tragedian

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tragedian

Middle English tragedien, from Middle French, from tragedie

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Time Traveler for tragedian

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Tragedian.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for tragedian


How to pronounce tragedian (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tragedian

: a person who writes tragedies
: an actor who often plays tragic roles

More from Merriam-Webster on tragedian

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tragedian

Britannica English: Translation of tragedian for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tragedian

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


dull or mediocre

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