From the Middle English tragedie, from the Old French tragedie, from the Latin tragoedia, from the Ancient Greek τραγῳδία (tragōidía, “epic play, tragedy”), from τράγος (trágos, “male goat”) + ᾠδή (ōidḗ, “song”), a reference to the goat-satyrs of the theatrical plays of the Dorians.
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tragedy (plural tragedies)
- A drama or similar work, in which the main character is brought to ruin or otherwise suffers the extreme consequences of some tragic flaw or weakness of character.
- The genre of such works, and the art of producing them.
- A disastrous event, especially one involving great loss of life or injury.
1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 1, The Tragedy in Dartmoor Terrace:
- “The story of this adoption is, of course, the pivot round which all the circumstances of the mysterious tragedy revolved. Mrs. Yule had an only son, namely, William, to whom she was passionately attached ; but, like many a fond mother, she had the desire of mapping out that son's future entirely according to her own ideas. […]”
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