Definition of threnody in English:


nounPlural threnodies

  • A lament.

    ‘a brooding threnody to urban desolation’
    • ‘The love poem has turned into something else with the death of the beloved, the acute sadness in the poem seeming to move it toward the elegy or threnody.’
    • ‘In three sections (two large ones sandwiching a short middle), it begins with a threnody in the solo viola over an accompaniment in the lower instruments, with commentary by other orchestral soloists.’
    • ‘His threnody captured the awful essence of untimely death in early-twentieth-century black societies that prized marriage and reproduction.’
    • ‘In spite of being denied even the predictable weepy-eyed juvenile threnodies for the local TV news, many parents expressed disappointment with the school closure.’
    • ‘This track is a threnody - contemplative, measured and stately in progress.’
    • ‘The second movement is an eerie threnody, while the third manages almost to resolve the emotional trauma of the first.’
    • ‘This dazzling facade is not, however, what makes Elgar a great composer: for his mature works turn out to be threnodies on Edwardian opulence and might.’
    • ‘At the close, he switches back to the minor, violins softly reiterating the sad opening motive like a threnody of distilled passion.’
    • ‘‘Birth Of An Object’ sounds out a manual poetry of machinic stanzas, marking the persistence of the industrial age in forgotten shop floors still grinding out indistinct objects, a sort of industrial threnody.’
    • ‘Considered over a lifetime, written by a dying old man in the remnants of his ducal palace in Palermo, it is a threnody to a fallen patrician class.’
    • ‘Thomson's memorial poem to the Lord Chancellor, dedicated to William Talbot, is as much a work of political opposition as it is a threnody.’
    • ‘It is a mournful threnody, measuring to the final cost the waste and destruction caused by the edenic myths of California that have defined it throughout its existence.’
    wail, wailing, lamentation, moan, moaning, groan, weeping, crying, sob, sobbing, keening, howl, complaint
    lament, dirge, requiem, elegy, funeral chant, funeral song, burial hymn, dead march, keen, plaint, knell
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Mid 17th century: from Greek thrēnōidia, from thrēnos ‘wailing’ + ōidē ‘song’.