trag·ic | \ ˈtra-jik \
variants: or less commonly tragical \ˈtra-ji-kəl \

Definition of tragic 

1a : regrettably serious or unpleasant : deplorable, lamentable a tragic mistake

b : marked by a sense of tragedy

2 : of, marked by, or expressive of tragedy the tragic significance of the atomic bomb —H. S. Truman

3a : dealing with or treated in tragedy the tragic hero

b : appropriate to or typical of tragedy

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Other words from tragic

tragically \ˈtra-ji-k(ə-)lē \ adverb

Examples of tragic in a Sentence

Their deaths were tragic and untimely. They both died in a tragic car accident. Romeo and Juliet's tragic love affair. We saw a tragic play about a man with AIDS. the tragic characters of her novel
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Recent Examples on the Web

After the tragic shooting at the Capital Gazette's office in Annapolis, the Washington D.C. area was left heartbroken and shocked. Nihal Kolur,, "Capitals Equipment Manager Brings Stanley Cup to Capital Gazette's Temporary Offices," 3 July 2018 Since the tragic mass shooting at Santa Fe High School in May there has been an outpouring of support from everyone from Texans star J.J. Watt to the Houston Rockets. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Jeweler Kendra Scott unveils special fundraising necklace designed with Santa Fe High School staff," 3 July 2018 After surviving the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, these students are driving an important national dialogue about guns, gun violence, and mental health in the United States. John King, Teen Vogue, "Former Secretary of Education John King on Why Colleges Need to Support Student Activism," 12 June 2018 The Tonight Show host delivered the commencement address at the school in Parkland, Fla., that was the site of the tragic shooting in February that took the lives of 17 people. Lynette Rice,, "Jimmy Fallon surprises students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas graduation," 4 June 2018 The Golden Knights are the best first-year expansion team in pro sports history, and their inaugural game was played right after the tragic shooting in Las Vegas. Fox News, "Trump: NFL owners did the right thing," 25 May 2018 The Houston Rockets are paying tribute to the victims, survivors and first responders of the tragic Santa Fe High School shooting that left 10 slain. Morgan Enos, Billboard, "Travis Scott Teams With the Houston Rockets to Pay Tribute to Santa Fe Shooting Victims," 25 May 2018 Yesterday, in the wake of the tragic Santa Fe school shooting on Friday, the National Rifle Association's (NRA) new president, Oliver North, told Fox News Sunday that Ritalin is to blame for mass shootings., "The NRA President Blamed School Shootings On Ritalin & Here's Why That's A Ridiculous Assumption," 21 May 2018 Jason and Ella’s words and actions have assisted many dealing with the tragic event. Megan Henry, Indianapolis Star, "Jason Seaman and Ella Whistler to serve as grand marshals for Noblesville Fourth of July Parade," 30 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tragic.' 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 tragic

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for tragic

Middle English, from Latin tragicus, from Greek tragikos, irregular from tragōidia tragedy

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Statistics for tragic

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for tragic

The first known use of tragic was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for tragic



English Language Learners Definition of tragic

: causing strong feelings of sadness usually because someone has died in a way that seems very shocking, unfair, etc.

: involving very sad or serious topics : of or relating to tragedy


trag·ic | \ ˈtra-jik \

Kids Definition of tragic

1 : very unfortunate a tragic mistake

2 : of or relating to tragedy a tragic drama

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Comments on tragic

What made you want to look up tragic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a magnificent or impressive array

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