threnody

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Ancient Greek θρηνῳδία (thrēnōidia, lamentation), from θρῆνος (thrēnos, lament, wail, dirge) + ᾠδή (ōidē, song).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

threnody (plural threnodies)

  1. A song or poem of lamentation or mourning for a dead person; a dirge; an elegy.
    • 1879, John McElroy, Andersonville: A Story of Rebel Military Prisons, ch. 44:
      The fifer actually knew but one tune "The Bonnie Blue Flag"—and did not know that well. But it was all that he had, and he played it with wearisome monotony for every camp call. . . . I never hated any piece of music as I came to hate that threnody of treason.
    • 1973, Ann Bond, "New Organ Music," The Musical Times, vol. 114, no. 1565, p. 741:
      A strongly personal note runs through Kenneth Leighton's Improvisation (Novello, 35p), which is a threnody in memory of Maurice de Sausmārez. Gently undulating, cantabile lines of ‘mourning’ alternate with sharp, anguished note-clusters which work up to a fierce paroxysm of grief.

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