eu·​lo·​gy | \ ˈyü-lə-jē How to pronounce eulogy (audio) \
plural eulogies

Definition of eulogy

1 : a commendatory oration or writing especially in honor of one deceased she delivered the eulogy at his funeral
2 : high praise

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from eulogy

eulogistic \ ˌyü-​lə-​ˈji-​stik How to pronounce eulogy (audio) \ adjective
eulogistically \ ˌyü-​lə-​ˈji-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce eulogy (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for eulogy

encomium, eulogy, panegyric, tribute, citation mean a formal expression of praise. encomium implies enthusiasm and warmth in praising a person or a thing. received encomiums from literary critics eulogy applies to a prepared speech or writing extolling the virtues and services of a person. delivered the eulogy at the funeral service panegyric suggests an elaborate often poetic compliment. her lyrical memoir was a panegyric to her mentor tribute implies deeply felt praise conveyed either through words or through a significant act. the concert was a musical tribute to the early jazz masters citation applies to the formal praise of a person offered in a military dispatch or in awarding an honorary degree. earned a citation for bravery

Elegy vs. Eulogy

Both elegy and eulogy may be used about writing or speech in remembrance of a person who has passed away, and this semantic overlap creates the potential for confusion. Elegy (which may be traced to the Greek word elegos, “song of mourning”) commonly refers to a song or poem lamenting one who is dead; the word may also refer somewhat figuratively to a nostalgic poem, or to a kind of musical composition. While eulogy is also commonly found referring to words about the deceased, its basic meaning, both in English and in the Greek language from which it was borrowed, is “praise.” Formed from the Greek roots eu “good” and logos “speech,” a eulogy is an encomium given for one who is either living or dead. If you are praising your partner’s unsurpassed beauty or commending the virtues of the deceased at a funeral, you are delivering a eulogy; if you are composing a lamenting reminiscence about a person who has long since passed, you are writing an elegy.

Eulogies Aren't Only for Funerals

With its -logy ending, eulogy means literally something like "good speech". We are told to speak only good of the dead, but a eulogist actually makes a speech in the dead person's honor--or often instead for someone living, who might actually be there in the audience. The most famous eulogies include Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and Pericles' funeral oration for the Athenian warriors; but these are only two of the many great eulogies, which continue to be delivered not only at funerals and memorial services but at retirement parties, anniversary parties, and birthday parties.

Examples of eulogy in a Sentence

He delivered a moving eulogy at his father's funeral. several eulogies were given at the special assembly marking the retirement of the company's longtime president
Recent Examples on the Web Michael, Marlene, Anat and Nina all spoke; Zaid gave his eulogy in Hebrew, as Batla’s husband, Khalid, translated into English. Lynda Schuster, Washington Post, 13 Oct. 2021 In a series of tweets, Pierce wrote his own impromptu eulogy for his friend and collaborator. Essence, 7 Sep. 2021 Two months after his dad’s death, Marsh was back in Buford, standing again at the front of the First Baptist Church, delivering another eulogy. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 3 Sep. 2021 While the company is inside BAM delivering a eulogy, bodies pile up at the doors. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 29 June 2021 Battles was born June 7, 1916, nephew Ralph Shell said in his eulogy Aug. 28. al, 4 Sep. 2021 Amanda King, the commander of Moreno’s cultural support team, wrote in her eulogy, according to Task and Purpose. Washington Post, 28 Aug. 2021 About a year ago Obama turned his eulogy for Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) into a critique of the filibuster and an endorsement of equal representation for residents of Puerto Rico and D.C. Chron, 10 Aug. 2021 In fact, as Chief Justice John Roberts noted in his eulogy, women now constitute a majority of the students at American law schools. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, 10 Aug. 2021

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

See More

First Known Use of eulogy

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for eulogy

Middle English euloge, from Medieval Latin eulogium, from Greek eulogia praise, from eu- + -logia -logy

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About eulogy

Time Traveler for eulogy

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near eulogy




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for eulogy

Last Updated

24 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Eulogy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for eulogy



English Language Learners Definition of eulogy

: a speech that praises someone who has died

More from Merriam-Webster on eulogy

Nglish: Translation of eulogy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of eulogy for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about eulogy


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!