trag·​ic | \ ˈtra-jik How to pronounce tragic (audio) \
variants: or less commonly tragical \ ˈtra-​ji-​kəl How to pronounce tragic (audio) \

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

Other Words from tragic

tragically \ ˈtra-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce tragic (audio) \ 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
Recent Examples on the Web Among his stars was Steve Prefontaine, whose dominance on the track, fiery independent spirit and tragic death in a car accident at age 24 inspired two Hollywood versions of his life story. Fox News, 16 Sep. 2022 Family, friends, fans and hip-hop stars are mourning the tragic death of rapper PnB Rock, who was shot and killed on Monday afternoon during a robbery in South Los Angeles. Bydeena Zaru, ABC News, 15 Sep. 2022 See the rest of PnB Rock’s peers reactions to his tragic passing below. Heran Mamo, Billboard, 12 Sep. 2022 His sudden, tragic passing on the eve of what would have been his crowning achievement as a filmmaker sent shockwaves through the film community, particularly in Africa and across the diaspora. Christopher Vourlias, Variety, 10 Sep. 2022 Headlines include the tragic death of Princess Diana in 1997, the closing of Pigall’s, Cincinnati’s famous four-star restaurant, in 1990 and a really hot day in 1951. The Enquirer, 1 Sep. 2022 The news coincided with a sudden, tragic death in the student’s family in Afghanistan, and the young group felt hopeless and scared. Abigail Hauslohner, Washington Post, 31 Aug. 2022 Of course the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman means big changes. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 30 Aug. 2022 A year after Princess Diana's tragic passing in 1997, Charles and Camilla appeared publicly as a couple. Jessica Sager, Peoplemag, 12 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for tragic

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

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Dictionary Entries Near tragic



tragic flaw

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Last Updated

23 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tragic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for tragic


trag·​ic | \ ˈtra-jik How to pronounce tragic (audio) \

Kids Definition of tragic

1 : very unfortunate a tragic mistake
2 : of or relating to tragedy a tragic drama

More from Merriam-Webster on tragic

Nglish: Translation of tragic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tragic for Arabic Speakers


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