tragedy

noun trag·e·dy \ ˈtra-jə-dē \
Updated on: 14 Nov 2017

Definition of tragedy

plural tragedies
1 a : a disastrous event : calamity
2 a : 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

Examples of tragedy in a Sentence

  1. Her son's death was a terrible tragedy.

  2. The situation ended in tragedy when the gunman shot and killed two students.

  3. The biggest tragedy here is that the accident could have easily been prevented.

  4. “Hamlet” is one of Shakespeare's best-known tragedies.

  5. The students are studying Greek tragedy.

  6. an actor who is drawn to tragedy

Recent Examples of tragedy from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

TRAGEDY Defined for English Language Learners

tragedy

noun

Definition of tragedy for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

tragedy

noun trag·e·dy \ ˈtra-jə-dē \

Definition of tragedy for Students

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


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