View synonyms for elegiac


[ el-i-jahy-uhk, -ak, ih-lee-jee-ak ]


  1. used in, suitable for, or resembling an elegy.
  2. expressing sorrow or lamentation:

    elegiac strains.

  3. Classical Prosody. noting a distich or couplet the first line of which is a dactylic hexameter and the second a pentameter, or a verse differing from the hexameter by suppression of the arsis or metrically unaccented part of the third and the sixth foot.


  1. an elegiac or distich verse.
  2. a poem in such distichs or verses.


/ ˌɛlɪˈdʒaɪək /


  1. resembling, characteristic of, relating to, or appropriate to an elegy
  2. lamenting; mournful; plaintive
  3. denoting or written in elegiac couplets or elegiac stanzas


  1. often plural an elegiac couplet or stanza

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Derived Forms

  • ˌeleˈgiacally, adverb

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Other Words From

  • ele·gia·cal·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of elegiac1

First recorded in 1575–85; from Middle French, from Latin elegīacus, from Greek elegeiakós; equivalent to elegy + -ac

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Example Sentences

The poems are elegiac, brooding and death-obsessed, haunted by intimations of mortality, by ghosts facing backward with regret and forward with trepidation.

The novel balances stunning prose, depicting the characters’ elegiac love for their land and community, with a sobering lesson about the implications of environmental racism.

It doesn’t help that “Joe Bell” works overtime to tug our heartstrings with its swelling, elegiac score or its reliance on tear-jerking tropes, nor that the focus on Joe’s inner turmoil effectively upstages Jadin’s torment.

They are variously loud, meditative, dramatic, witty, sexy, searing, and elegiac.

“I drive through the streets and see people without hope,” he says in the elegiac narration that ends the film.

Six Feet Under ended its six-season run with perhaps the most elegiac, moving final scene a series has ever produced.

As David Quammen described in his elegiac The Song of the Dodo, islands are “where species go to die.”

But he is one of the best deadline artists in the business, and his series on the dying of his father was unflinching and elegiac.

Can any of your readers tell me whence comes the following Sotadic Elegiac poem, and construe it for me?

Such were among the great elegiac poets of Rome, who were generally devoted to the delineation of the passion of love.

Tibullus, also a famous elegiac poet, was born the same year as Ovid, and was the friend of the poet Horace.

On the fall of Napoleon, Béranger took it upon himself to sing the glory of the fallen empire in elegiac strains.

Eugenia failed not to observe her appointment the next morning, which was devoted to elegiac poetry.


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elegantelegiac couplet