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Definition of "dirge" [dirge]

  • Music A funeral hymn or lament. (noun)
  • Music A slow, mournful musical composition. (noun)
  • A mournful or elegiac poem or other literary work. (noun)
  • Roman Catholic Church The Office of the Dead. (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.

Use "dirge" in a sentence
  • "It is from the latter of these two words that the English term dirge is derived."
  • "The dirge is a lament for Aung San Suu Kii, the deposed leader of Burma who has been held under house arrest in her home in Rangoon for 17 years."
  • "From time to time he uttered soft regular sounds; he was wailing a dirge, that is, swaying backwards and forwards with his eyes shut, and shaking his head as drivers or bargemen do when they chant their melancholy songs."