[ el-i-jahy-uh k, -ak, ih-lee-jee-ak ]
/ ˌɛl ɪˈdʒaɪ ək, -æk, ɪˈli dʒiˌæk /

adjective Also el·e·gi·a·cal.

used in, suitable for, or resembling an elegy.
expressing sorrow or lamentation: elegiac strains.
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.


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

Nearby words

  1. eledoisin,
  2. eleemosynary,
  3. elegance,
  4. elegancy,
  5. elegant,
  6. elegiac couplet,
  7. elegiac pentameter,
  8. elegiac stanza,
  9. elegist,
  10. elegit

Origin of elegiac

1575–85; (< Middle French) < Latin elegīacus < Greek elegeiakós. See elegy, -ac

Related formsel·e·gi·a·cal·ly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for elegiac

British Dictionary definitions for elegiac


/ (ˌɛlɪˈdʒaɪək) /


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


(often plural) an elegiac couplet or stanza
Derived Formselegiacally, adverb

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012