Definition of tragedy
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 terrorb : the literary genre of tragic dramasc : 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
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
Recent Examples of tragedy from the Web
The Globe is announcing that Grantham Coleman will take on the title role of the great tragedy, which runs Aug. 6 to Sept. 10 as the second show in the theater’s summer Shakespeare Festival.
After dealing with a devastating family tragedy, one New Jersey couple recently found a silver lining in their lives by winning the lottery.
That's why the many prosaic encounters with the Chinese government that result in tragedy are permitted only a mayfly lifespan in the Chinese media; a brief burst of attention in the aftermath, followed by a swift closure of discussion of the topic.
The real tragedy in this poll is the demonization of institutions of higher education, which, for any faults, still hold the key to American workers' success in the 21st century economy.
But after an unresolved argument ended in unexpected tragedy, one British widow is warning others to take it to heart.
Earnhardt acknowledged earlier in the week that winning at Daytona, a venue that has delivered personal tragedy and professional triumph, was his best last chance to make the playoffs.
Dark Night (July 31) Inspired by the 2012 Aurora, Colorado shooting that took place at a movie theater showing The Dark Knight,Tim Sutton's haunting indie imagines the various personal and social factors that might have led to such a tragedy.
But as Google Ventures partner Ken Norton pointed out in an emotional Twitter thread that went viral Monday, even well-off families like his can face devastating medical tragedies.
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.
TRAGEDY Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of tragedy for Students
1 : a disastrous event
2 : a serious play that has a sad or disastrous ending
Seen and Heard
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