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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web The community, the court explained, cannot expect its officers to make a difficult judgment and then to second-guess them — even if the consequence is tragic. Mel Dickstein, Star Tribune, 17 July 2021 So the story is tragic, but everything is tied up, right? Leah Marilla Thomas,, 28 June 2021 The riffing was off the charts when Bill Hader joined Conan for a round of God of War in 2018 - and while the gameplay was tragic, the giggling fits were next level. Dan Snierson,, 24 June 2021 That Hagler died just months before the documentary aired is tragic, said Tompkins., 18 June 2021 But although its fans around the globe think of amatriciana as their carby comfort blanket, the dish's recent history has been tragic. Julia Buckley, CNN, 18 June 2021 From my work, Sawyer saw the good in the world, even when the stories were tragic, because things changed and people helped. Karina Bland, The Arizona Republic, 17 June 2021 The discovery of the 215 Indigenous children is tragic. Tima Bansal, Forbes, 15 June 2021 Though his death is tragic, friends say his legacy will be lasting. Carol Robinson |, al, 29 May 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near tragic



tragic flaw

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Statistics for tragic

Last Updated

25 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tragic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jul. 2021.

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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 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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