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Alternative forms[edit]


From Ancient Greek τραγικός (tragikós, of or relating to tragedy), from τράγος (trágos, male goat), a reference to the goat-satyrs of the theatrical plays of the Dorians.


  • IPA(key): /ˈtɹæd͡ʒɪk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ædʒɪk


tragic (comparative more tragic, superlative most tragic)

  1. Causing great sadness or suffering.
    • 2012 March-April, Jan Sapp, “Race Finished”, in American Scientist[1], volume 100, number 2, page 164:
      Few concepts are as emotionally charged as that of race. The word conjures up a mixture of associations—culture, ethnicity, genetics, subjugation, exclusion and persecution. But is the tragic history of efforts to define groups of people by race really a matter of the misuse of science, the abuse of a valid biological concept?
  2. Relating to tragedy in a literary work.
  3. (in tabloid newspapers) Having been the victim of a tragedy.
    • 2008 February 14, “Search for tragic Madeleine McCann over”, in The Daily Telegraph[2], Australia:
    • 2012 June 25, Gary Meneely, The Irish Sun[3]:
  4. (informal, chiefly predicative) Cringeworthy; tryhard; unhip; embarrassing; hopeless; indicative of (or having) a chronic lack of self-awareness.
    That dress is tragic.
    He's pretty tragic these days, hanging out with people half his age.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



tragic (plural tragics)

  1. (Australia, colloquial) An obsessive fan, a superfan
  2. (obsolete) A writer of tragedy.
  3. (obsolete) A tragedy; a tragic drama.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for “tragic”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.)



Borrowed from French tragique, from Latin tragicus.


tragic m or n (feminine singular tragică, masculine plural tragici, feminine and neuter plural tragice)

  1. tragical