tragedy

tragedy
tragedy
was originally a term for a kind of drama which involves the downfall of the principal character or characters, brought about by significant events which are often the actions of the protagonists themselves. It has been developed in use to refer to major misfortunes in real life

• (The government…had been captured by the extreme right and its budget measures were ‘a tragedy for many good New Zealanders’ —Keesings, 1990)

and while this may be seen as a typical example of semantic weakening, it should not extend to the context of more trivial or ephemeral setbacks, such as defeat in a sports event. The word is best reserved for uses in which serious misfortune is involved. The same applies to the adjective tragic, which describes meaningful events that have disastrous consequences. Strictly speaking, a tragic accident is a contradiction in terms, since an accident by definition lacks the import involved in the notion of tragedy; but the combination is so well established that objection to it is futile. The word is commonly used redundantly by journalists to add flavour to their accounts: Exactly a decade to the day that Diana was killed in a tragic car crash [etc.] —Coventry Evening Telegraph, 2007.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tragedy — Pays d’origine Memphis, États Unis Genre musical Hardcore / Crustcore Années d activité 2000 2007 Labels Tragedy Records, Skuld Releases Membres …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tragedy — puede referirse a: Tragedy, un single de The Bee Gees (1979). Tragedy, un single de la banda de rock finlandesa Hanoi Rocks (1981). Tragedy, una banda estadounidense de crust punk (2000). Esta página de desambiguación cataloga artículos …   Wikipedia Español

  • Tragedy — «Tragedy» Сингл Bee Gees из альбома Spirits Having Flown Выпущен Январь 1979 Записан март – октябрь 1978 Жанр Поп рок/диско …   Википедия

  • Tragedy — Trag e*dy, n.; pl. {Tragedies}. [OE. tragedie, OF. tragedie, F. trag[ e]die, L. tragoedia, Gr. ?, fr. ? a tragic poet and singer, originally, a goat singer; ? a goat (perhaps akin to ? to gnaw, nibble, eat, and E. trout) + ? to sing; from the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tragedy — (n.) late 14c., play or other serious literary work with an unhappy ending, from O.Fr. tragedie (14c.), from L. tragedia a tragedy, from Gk. tragodia a dramatic poem or play in formal language and having an unhappy resolution, apparently lit.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • tragedy — [traj′ə dē] n. pl. tragedies [ME tragedie < MFr < L tragoedia < Gr tragōidia, tragedy, lit., the song of the goat < tragos, goat ( < IE * treg , to gnaw < base * ter , to rub, grind > THROW) + ōidē, song (see ODE): so named ? …   English World dictionary

  • Tragedy — Allgemeine Informationen Genre(s) Hardcore Punk, Crust Gründung 2000 Gründungsmitglieder …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • tragedy — I noun accident, adversity, affliction, bale, blow, calamity, casualty, cataclysm, catastrophe, disaster, doom, dreadful event, fatal affair, hardship, misadventure, misfortune, mishap, reverse, sorrow, tragoedia, woe II index adversity, calamity …   Law dictionary

  • tragedy — [n] disaster adversity, affliction, bad fortune, bad luck, blight, blow, calamity, cataclysm, catastrophe, contretemps, curse, curtains*, dole, dolor, doom, downer*, failure, hard knocks*, hardship, humiliation, lot, misadventure, mischance,… …   New thesaurus

  • tragedy — ► NOUN (pl. tragedies) 1) an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress. 2) a serious play with an unhappy ending, especially one concerning the downfall of the main character. ORIGIN Greek trag idia, apparently from tragos goat… …   English terms dictionary

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