• synonyms


noun, plural trag·i·com·e·dies.
  1. a dramatic or other literary composition combining elements of both tragedy and comedy.
  2. an incident, or series of incidents, of mixed tragic and comic character.
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Origin of tragicomedy

1570–80; < Late Latin tragicōmoedia, syncopated variant of Latin tragicocōmoedia. See tragic, -o-, comedy
Related formstrag·i·com·ic [traj-i-kom-ik] /ˌtrædʒ ɪˈkɒm ɪk/, trag·i·com·i·cal, adjectivetrag·i·com·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tragicomical

Historical Examples

  • The details of this disgraceful transaction, and the tragicomical events that followed, will form the subject of our next.

    Revolution and Counter-Revolution

    Karl Marx

British Dictionary definitions for tragicomical


noun plural -dies
    1. a drama in which aspects of both tragedy and comedy are found
    2. the dramatic genre of works of this kind
  1. an event or incident having both comic and tragic aspects
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Derived Formstragicomic or tragicomical, adjectivetragicomically, adverb

Word Origin

C16: from French, ultimately from Late Latin tragicōmoedia; see tragedy, comedy
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 tragicomical



1570s, from Middle French tragicomédie (1540s), from Italian tragicommedia, from Late Latin tragicomoedia (c.325), contraction of tragicocomoedia (Plautus), from tragicus (see tragic) + comoedia (see comedy).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper