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

Except her case is tragic, and heartbreaking, and the worst thing in the world. John Archibald |,, "Marshae Jones indictment is complex; Alabama hypocrisy isn’t," 27 June 2019 Seven long years after the tragic death of their promising young son, the Henrys cleared Danroy Henry Jr.'s name. James Brown, CBS News, "Defending DJ: Was the fatal shooting of a Pace University football player justified?," 22 June 2019 This biography captures the turmoil of Alma’s affairs, her artistic disappointments, visceral appetites and the tragic deaths of three of her four children. The Economist, "The life and loves of Alma Mahler," 14 June 2019 Five years after having to disband after a tragic accident rocked San Francisco, the Avengers reunite when the world comes under attack. Channing King, Indianapolis Star, "From 'Cyberpunk 2077' to 'Final Fantasy VII,' here are the big video games of E3 2019," 13 June 2019 The school year began with seven students, but a tragic car accident forced one family to move away while another left mid-year, leaving just Logan. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "This Arizona school has just one student. Here's what her day is like.," 12 June 2019 My heart breaks for all those involved in the tragic training accident at West Point this morning. Abigail Abrams, Time, "West Point Cadet Killed, 21 Others Injured After Tactical Vehicle Crash During Training," 6 June 2019 After her tragic death from a car accident in 1982, Prince Rainer III created a foundation in her name that would help American artists working in theater, dance, and film, providing them with scholarships, apprenticeships, and fellowships. Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, "The Princess Grace Foundation Has a New CEO," 3 June 2019 In 2017, Kensington Palace officially opened a memorial garden for Princess Diana, marking what had been two decades since her tragic death. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Meghan Markle Honors Princess Diana in the Most Beautiful Way on Mother's Day," 13 May 2019

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

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tragic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tragic

Spanish Central: Translation of tragic

Nglish: Translation of tragic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tragic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tragic

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