tragedy

noun
trag·​e·​dy | \ ˈtra-jə-dē How to pronounce tragedy (audio) \
plural tragedies

Definition of tragedy

1a : a disastrous event : calamity
2a : a serious drama typically describing a conflict between the protagonist and a superior force (such as destiny) and having a sorrowful or disastrous conclusion that elicits pity or terror
b : the literary genre of tragic dramas
c : a medieval narrative poem or tale typically describing the downfall of a great man
3 : tragic quality or element

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Examples of tragedy in a Sentence

Her son's death was a terrible tragedy. The situation ended in tragedy when the gunman shot and killed two students. The biggest tragedy here is that the accident could have easily been prevented. “Hamlet” is one of Shakespeare's best-known tragedies. The students are studying Greek tragedy. an actor who is drawn to tragedy
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Recent Examples on the Web

The aviation industry is known for learning from tragedy, transforming cruel lessons from accidents into improvements that make flying safer. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Why We Need a New Black Box," 7 May 2019 But what good things can come from a tragedy like the California fires? Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "How faith leaders respond to tragedies like the California wildfires," 21 Nov. 2018 Several Deadliest Catch stars shared their sympathy shortly after news of the tragedy broke, including Captain Keith Colburn. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "'Deadliest Catch' Season 15 Premiere Pays Tribute to Fishermen Who Lost Their Lives," 14 Apr. 2019 That the pilot union of such a devoted and important customer is even raising the question of buying planes from another manufacturer is the latest disturbing development for Boeing from the MAX tragedies. Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times, "737 MAX crisis prompts Southwest pilots to question its all-Boeing fleet," 12 Apr. 2019 The piece had been written by a local playwright whose father died in the tragedy. Danielle Stein Chizzik, Town & Country, "Jodie Comer Is Hollywood’s Next Great Chameleon," 8 Apr. 2019 In classical Greek tragedy, a chorus supplies commentary on the grisly doings of gods and men. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: A Heroine Burning With Purpose," 29 Mar. 2019 Those difficulties and the unavoidable tragedy could have been averted by an additional safety feature which both planes lacked, according to the Times. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Report: Boeing Charged Extra for Safety Features Tied to 737 Max Crashes," 21 Mar. 2019 And the tragedy of Diana’s death involved yes, an over-aggressive press, but also high speeds and an intoxicated driver. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "George Clooney Defends Meghan Markle: “She’s Been Pursued and Vilified”," 12 Feb. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2c

History and Etymology for tragedy

Middle English tragedie, from Middle French, from Latin tragoedia, from Greek tragōidia, from tragos goat (akin to Greek trōgein to gnaw) + aeidein to sing — more at troglodyte, ode

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Statistics for tragedy

Last Updated

13 May 2019

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Time Traveler for tragedy

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

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More Definitions for tragedy

tragedy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of tragedy

: a very bad event that causes great sadness and often involves someone's death
: a very sad, unfortunate, or upsetting situation : something that causes strong feelings of sadness or regret
: a play, movie, etc., that is serious and has a sad ending (such as the death of the main character)

tragedy

noun
trag·​e·​dy | \ ˈtra-jə-dē How to pronounce tragedy (audio) \
plural tragedies

Kids Definition of tragedy

1 : a disastrous event
2 : a serious play that has a sad or disastrous ending

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More from Merriam-Webster on tragedy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tragedy

Spanish Central: Translation of tragedy

Nglish: Translation of tragedy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tragedy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tragedy

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