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

Paula Caravella Added to this inconceivable tragedy for these families is the lack of state resources dedicated to understanding what has transpired in this and similar cases. BostonGlobe.com, "Letters to the editor of the Boston Globe Magazine," 20 June 2019 The mural depicts some of the great moments in local and national military history, ranging from Andrew Jackson’s rousing victory at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815 to the tragedy that occurred at Pearl Harbor in 1941. Barry Lemoine, nola.com, "Artists help St. Bernard salute America," 19 June 2019 When tragedy strikes, Nola must confront the reality of life on the road alone. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "Ready for takeoff? Here's your first look at the 2019 Flyover Film Festival in Louisville," 16 June 2019 For the families of those affected and the survivors to vote on how to handle this tragedy. Jasmine Aguilera, Time, "Concerns, Controversy Surround the Planned Construction of a Memorial and Museum at Pulse Nightclub, Site of 2016 Mass Shooting," 13 June 2019 Red Flag laws help save lives by allowing family members and law enforcement to act on warning signs before tragedy strikes. Shannon Watts, Vogue, "Toxic Masculinity Is Killing Us," 31 Jan. 2019 Things start to head south — especially when tragedy strikes, and Earl has to choose between work and family once again. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Clint Eastwood’s new movie The Mule is exasperatingly flat," 14 Dec. 2018 At times, the leverage to do so only comes after tragedy strikes. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "The Global Tech Backlash Is Just Beginning," 25 Oct. 2018 But when tragedy strikes the Creed family, Louis is tempted to ignore Crandall's dire warning. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Deliciously spooky Pet Sematary trailer will give you the chills," 11 Oct. 2018

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

24 Jun 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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