- a funeral song or tune, or one expressing mourning in commemoration of the dead.
- any composition resembling such a song or tune in character, as a poem of lament for the dead or solemn, mournful music: Tennyson's dirge for the Duke of Wellington.
- a mournful sound resembling a dirge: The autumn wind sang the dirge of summer.
- Ecclesiastical. the office of the dead, or the funeral service as sung.
Origin of dirge
Examples from the Web for dirge
The 19th century, though, was a 100-year dirge from one horrid epidemic to another.When TB Was a Death Sentence: An Excerpt From ‘The Remedy’
April 16, 2014
The design team sent out a dirge of mostly camel-colored leggings, leather shorts, tunics, and jackets.Milan Fashion Week's Malaise
September 23, 2011
It was the dirge of the British Empire in America, “The World Turned Upside Down.”Washington in Victory
October 10, 2008
Sometimes, by way of providing a varied entertainment, they sing a dirge.The Devil's Dictionary
But it was only the cold wind from the mountains whistling a dirge.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
It was a dirge, which he was intoning as he bent over the cookstove.Fair Harbor
Joseph Crosby Lincoln
"Neither did he," he observed, and began to whistle what sounded like a dirge.Shavings
Joseph C. Lincoln
The entrance to the room where the Bella figlia had been succeeded by a dirge, was blocked.The Paliser case
- a chant of lamentation for the dead
- the funeral service in its solemn or sung forms
- any mourning song or melody
Word Origin and History for dirge
early 13c., dirige (current contracted form is from c.1400), from Latin dirige "direct!" imperative of dirigere "to direct," probably from antiphon Dirige, Domine, Deus meus, in conspectu tuo viam meam, "Direct, O Lord, my God, my way in thy sight," from Psalm v:9, which opened the Matins service in the Office of the Dead. Transferred sense of "any funeral song" is from c.1500.