[ traj-ik ]
/ ˈtrædʒ ɪk /


characteristic or suggestive of tragedy: tragic solemnity.
extremely mournful, melancholy, or pathetic: a tragic plight.
dreadful, calamitous, disastrous, or fatal: a tragic event.
of, pertaining to, characterized by, or of the nature of tragedy: the tragic drama.
acting in or writing tragedy: a tragic actor; a tragic poet.


the tragic, the element or quality of tragedy in literature, art, drama, etc.: lives that had never known anything but the tragic.

Nearby words

  1. tragacanth,
  2. tragedian,
  3. tragedienne,
  4. tragedize,
  5. tragedy,
  6. tragic flaw,
  7. tragic hero,
  8. tragic irony,
  9. tragicomedy,
  10. tragicomic

Sometimes trag·i·cal (for defs 1–3).

Origin of tragic

1535–45; < Latin tragicus < Greek tragikós of tragedy, equivalent to trág(os) goat + -ikos -ic

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

Examples from the Web for tragically

British Dictionary definitions for tragically


less commonly tragical (ˈtrædʒɪkəl)

/ (ˈtrædʒɪk) /


of, relating to, or characteristic of tragedy
mournful or pitiablea tragic face
Derived Formstragically, 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

Word Origin and History for tragically



1540s, "calamitous, disastrous, fatal," shortened from tragical (late 15c.), modeled on Latin tragicus, from Greek tragikos "of or pertaining to tragedy," literally "of or pertaining to a goat," and probably referring to a satyr impersonated by a goat singer or satyric actor (see tragedy). Tragic flaw (1913) translates Greek hamartia.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper