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

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Other Words from tragic

tragically \ ˈtra-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce tragically (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
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Recent Examples on the Web Since his mother's tragic death, Micheál has honored her in many ways, including changing his last name to Richardson back in 2018 and by following in her acting footsteps. Alexia Fernandez,, "Liam Neeson Returns as a Criminal Seeking Justice in First Trailer for Thriller Honest Thief," 31 July 2020 The results recognized the growth and the potential yet unrealized of the foundation that began with the tragic death of the McNamara’s daughter, Maria. Linda Gandee, cleveland, "Prayers From Maria raises more than $250,000 at Sunflower Soiree," 12 July 2020 As Vulture points out, Marilyn Monroe had filmed her nude scene skinny dipping in a pool for Something’s Got to Give a year earlier, just before her tragic death in 1962, but it was scrapped after she was fired from the project. Anne Cohen,, "Rediscover Hollywood’s Most Famous Nude Scenes With This New Documentary," 8 July 2020 The incident is the second tragic incident involving fireworks in the past few days in the city. Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, "Man dies after fireworks incident in Northwest Washington," 4 July 2020 And sometimes, as with COVID-19, there will be awful, tragic results. Fox News, "Laura Ingraham lays out her 'new normal' for GOP: 'Anti-leftist ... pro-American ... pro-worker'," 14 July 2020 The tragic errors continued, according to an interview with Puddicombe in the 1981 Times article. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "The true history of Cook Inlet’s deadly mudflats," 13 July 2020 Kelly Preston died Sunday morning at 57, marking another tragic blow to the Travolta family 11 years after the unexpected death of their son Jett. Ale Russian,, "How Kelly Preston and John Travolta Healed After Son Jett Died at 16: 'You Are in Our Hearts'," 13 July 2020 The Ventura County Sheriff's Office confirmed tragic news Monday. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "'Rest sweet Naya': 'Glee's Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, more stars react to Naya Rivera's tragic death," 13 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for tragic

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for tragic

Last Updated

5 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tragic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for tragic


How to pronounce tragic (audio)

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 How to pronounce tragic (audio) \

Kids Definition of tragic

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on tragic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tragic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tragic

Spanish Central: Translation of tragic

Nglish: Translation of tragic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tragic for Arabic Speakers

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