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

But shortly after the newlyweds settled down, tragedy struck. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, "Was a missing Tennessee woman murdered or did she willingly disappear?," 29 June 2019 For one of the Democrats running for the White House, the unfolding tragedy of migrant children on the southern border is a heartbreaking echo of his mother’s story of surviving the Holocaust. NBC News, "Sen. Michael Bennet's mother was separated from her parents in Nazi-occupied Poland," 28 June 2019 But tragedy struck once again in September 2017 when Beth was diagnosed with stage 2 throat cancer. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'Dog the Bounty Hunter' Star Beth Chapman Has Died Following Her Battle With Cancer," 26 June 2019 Troubled life Birla was only 22 when tragedy struck: His father Ashok Birla, mother Sunanda, and sister Sujata died in a plane crash in Bengaluru in 1990. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "A flamboyant Indian industrialist is now chased by a bank his ancestor founded," 17 June 2019 This tragedy for biodiversity is becoming a humanitarian crisis. CNN, "We're failing the world's oceans. Businesses can help save them," 14 June 2019 Her research proved that the tragedy of the commons is not inevitable. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "About The Tragedy Of The Digital Commons: RaceAhead," 12 June 2019 In fact, the Rohingya tragedy has been devastating for the local community and its environment. Gaia Vince, Quartz, "How to survive in the world’s largest refugee camp," 8 June 2019 The real tragedy is that if Daughter had known the truth about Woman’s relation to her, she probably wouldn’t have left Woman alone to die out in the world. Sydney Bucksbaum, refinery29.com, "How Daughter & Woman Are Connected In Netflix's I Am Mother," 8 June 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

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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