tragi·​com·​e·​dy ˌtra-ji-ˈkä-mə-dē How to pronounce tragicomedy (audio)
: a drama or a situation blending tragic and comic elements

Example Sentences

The play is a tragicomedy about a man's search for love.
Recent Examples on the Web The meta tragicomedy stars Fine Sendel as Paula, a simple Supporting Character in a repressive three class-society where there are Main Characters, Supporting Characters and the untouchable Outtakes. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Sep. 2022 The play is a tragicomedy about a retirement home in northern Idaho where a record-breaking blizzard forces the last three residents to contemplate their own mortality when one of them wanders out into the storm. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Aug. 2022 The process was bumpy, a tragicomedy that unfurled over decades. New York Times, 21 Feb. 2022 That quote would seem to portend a mournful reflection on death and the sacrifices of art, but sparks of illumination, irreverence, tragicomedy and even joy continually fleck the material. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Feb. 2022 And don’t let its pure enjoyability mislead you into thinking it’s not a tragicomedy. New York Times, 8 Dec. 2021 This essence of choice and ambiguity and convolution is what Sondheim gave to theater—the idea that there’s infinitely more contained within the tragicomedy of human experience than can ever be set to music and sung on a stage. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 30 Nov. 2021 The British actress writes, produces, co-directs and stars in this tragicomedy as Arabella, a struggling novelist trying to piece together the night she was drugged and raped at a bar. Usa Today Staff, USA TODAY, 15 Sep. 2021 The scene was podcast gold, full of action and tragicomedy and winking references. Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, 7 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tragicomedy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle French tragicomedie, from Old Italian tragicomedia, from Old Spanish, from Latin tragicomoedia, from tragicus + comoedia comedy

First Known Use

circa 1580, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tragicomedy was circa 1580

Dictionary Entries Near tragicomedy

Cite this Entry

“Tragicomedy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



: a play or situation which blends tragic and comic elements
also tragicomical

More from Merriam-Webster on tragicomedy

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