tragedy

noun
trag·​e·​dy | \ ˈtra-jə-dē \
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

Her death was a tragedy not only for her and her family, but for the entire world, having been deprived of decades of additional discoveries. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Europe's Next Mars Rover Is Named After a Pioneer of DNA Research," 7 Feb. 2019 This is a tragedy that the community wants to help with in some way. Jameelah Nasheed, Teen Vogue, "A Gunman Opened Fire on a Black Family, Killing 7-Year-Old Jazmine Barnes," 2 Jan. 2019 Climate change is a classic tragedy of the commons: every country acting in its own self-interest contributes to depleting a joint resource, making the world worse for everyone. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "The US would suffer some of the biggest costs of climate change," 30 Sep. 2018 This is a modern tragedy, replayed millions of times over. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Meet Atul Gawande, the Surgeon Who Will Lead the Amazon-JPMorgan-Berkshire Health Venture," 20 June 2018 In the statement Wednesday, police said the incidents were unfortunate and the deaths were tragedies. Ian Cummings, Glenn E. Rice And Joe Robertson, kansascity, "KCPD fatal shootings: Man in downtown fight pointed gun, woman with sword ran at cops," 20 June 2018 To mark the thirtieth anniversary of the tragedy, Popular Mechanics found and interviewed more than two dozen people who were closely involved in the launch and its aftermath. Margaret Lazarus Dean, Popular Mechanics, "The Oral History of the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster," 28 Jan. 2019 Part of the tragedy for me is how his legacy is getting erased, starting with the corporation erasing his tapes. Vogue, "Watch an Exclusive Clip of Halston Before Its Sundance Premiere—And Read What the Director and Producer Say About Its Making," 23 Jan. 2019 Return of the Obra Dinn is about the horror of history, the horror of a tragedy in reverse, the horror of inevitability. Laura Hudson, The Verge, "Why Return of the Obra Dinn is my game of the year," 21 Dec. 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

18 Feb 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 \
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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