Definition of "tragedy" []

  • A drama or literary work in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances. (noun)
  • The genre made up of such works. (noun)
  • The art or theory of writing or producing these works. (noun)
  • A play, film, television program, or other narrative work that portrays or depicts calamitous events and has an unhappy but meaningful ending. (noun)
  • A disastrous event, especially one involving distressing loss or injury to life: an expedition that ended in tragedy, with all hands lost at sea. (noun)
  • (esp in classical and Renaissance drama) a play in which the protagonist, usually a man of importance and outstanding personal qualities, falls to disaster through the combination of a personal failing and circumstances with which he cannot deal (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • (in later drama, such as that of Ibsen) a play in which the protagonist is overcome by a combination of social and psychological circumstances (noun)
  • Any dramatic or literary composition dealing with serious or sombre themes and ending with disaster (noun)
  • (in medieval literature) a literary work in which a great person falls from prosperity to disaster, often through no fault of his own (noun)
  • The branch of drama dealing with such themes (noun)
  • The unfortunate aspect of something (noun)
  • A shocking or sad event; disaster (noun) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "tragedy" in a sentence
  • "The "sealing of fate" turning point in tragedy is distinct enough to be evaluated as a "sealing of fate"."
  • "Did you know that the word tragedy comes from the Greek tragoidia, the cry of the goat?"
  • "Mr. Putin described the actions by the Western allies in Libya as an "outrageous violation" of a United Nations resolution that had led to what he called a "tragedy.""