Definition of elegiac in US English:

elegiac

adjective

  • 1Relating to or characteristic of an elegy.

    ‘haunting and elegiac poems’
    • ‘Its tone is consummately elegiac and mournful.’
    • ‘Not only does it oblige us to face the discomfiting reality of death and the uncertainty of resurrection, but it also throws our pieties into confusion by interweaving death with beauty, the elegiac with the sensuous.’
    • ‘A soundtrack of mournful chanting gives the whole work an elegiac quality.’
    • ‘The rhythm of 1970s TV seem so unusual now that they add to the sense that you are watching something wholly other: long, slow scenes; wordy dialogue; and elegiac tracking shots of an empty England.’
    • ‘Rhapsodic, ironic, elegiac and disillusioned, the urban sketch, for all its sparkle, tended toward melancholy.’
    • ‘One poem, for instance, embeds a kind of elegiac tone in its simple vocabulary: language is an unregulated process of memorializing in the process of forgetting.’
    • ‘He used to recite dirge songs and had established a unique status for his touching elegiac tone.’
    • ‘Her pessimism and elegiac outlook could only perceive the contemporary social and political developments of indigenous peoples as a slow decline and erosion of tradition.’
    • ‘As the book closes, it becomes transformed into a moving, elegiac memoir for the writer's parents.’
    • ‘The long, elegiac camera movements with pained moments of concentration on detail make the lens into the eye of a narrator and effectively take us on the tragic journey which is Hamlet.’
    • ‘But as the mournful, elegiac music began to gently move through the air, and voices, distinct and intense, began to tell their tale, in their own words, something incredible happened.’
    • ‘Although the work ended in renewal, it was deeply elegiac.’
    • ‘With that said, there's really nothing bad about this affair - it's mournful, haunting, stirring, elegiac…’
    • ‘The third movement's elegiac tone places it in line with the great Russian lament tradition.’
    • ‘They're poems, written in verse in the first person, elegiac in format.’
    • ‘Quite naturally, then, the elegiac strain is central to Indran's oeuvre.’
    • ‘This is primarily a period piece and, as you might expect from the elegiac nature of the film, the pace is appropriately funereal.’
    • ‘In the final stages of emphysema he summoned up the energy to make his final film, a British-German-American co-production based on an elegiac short story.’
    • ‘The wistful elegiac moods of the Sonnets, were conveyed with just the right balance of outward expression and gesture, and delicate tonal control.’
    • ‘The result is a beautiful book whose elegiac tone is quickened by the writer's own warmth and wit.’
    • ‘Ovid, the elegiac poet who was a contemporary of Livy, quotes her as saying to Tarquinius, ‘Why, victor, do you rejoice?’’
    • ‘Not merely is there the familiar trope of the ‘wounded civilisation’, there is also the elegiac evocation of the destruction of Vijayanagara.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, it is a beautiful, elegiac work of art, at once powerfully iconic and subdued.’
    • ‘The film is an elegiac poem, one with deep felt un-maudlin sympathy.’
    • ‘Colors tend to be exquisite, but in an unusual way, at once vivid and fading, as if a still-potent splendor were half-vanishing before one's eyes, introducing a vaguely mournful, even elegiac tone.’
    • ‘Ford's writing is never more his signature than when he combines a wistful, elegiac feeling of loss with an indomitable instinct to carry on.’
    • ‘In trying to be nostalgic about the then ubiquitous sounds of choice in the radio, the author has verily sung its ‘demise’ in elegiac terms, that one can feel in self-generated empathy.’
    • ‘But why did the consolation have to be in verse, no tradition yet existing of elegiac poems for people of lower rank than the nobility?’
    • ‘These are punctuated in somber and sorrowful moments by elegiac strings.’
    • ‘His poems use images of death and dying, and he has written elegiac poems to lost friends and family members.’
    • ‘By the way, I think it's a wonderful scene. an elegiac scene, very touching.’
    • ‘What he does remember, however, strikes a poignant, elegiac note.’
    • ‘Only the last haunting and elegiac shot of the steam train bearing the wounded Ned back to Melbourne and his hanging carry a real resonance.’
    • ‘The problem of audience provides the most apt segue into the elegiac elements of the poems.’
    • ‘And now here is a book which is mostly poetry, or at least a kind of elegiac wistfulness.’
    • ‘The poems ranged across these six sections vary from the lyrical to the elegiac to the downright silly.’
    • ‘It is deservedly a classic - a most gorgeously written, elusively elegiac, delicate evocation of a vanished way of life, and an almost vanished way of thinking and being in the world.’
    • ‘It's an elegiac and lyrical single-act play that is haunted by the death of a teenage girl, Roslyn, whom we never meet.’
    • ‘Numerous proleptically elegiac poems share this prediction, foregrounding the silence that will replace consolatory language in the new round of suffering.’
    • ‘Berger has found the perfect form for his elegiac, still-hopeful revelation of the worth of us all, so easily stolen by time.’
    1. 1.1 Wistfully mournful.
      • ‘Ford's writing is never more his signature than when he combines a wistful, elegiac feeling of loss with an indomitable instinct to carry on.’
      • ‘These are punctuated in somber and sorrowful moments by elegiac strings.’
      • ‘Rhapsodic, ironic, elegiac and disillusioned, the urban sketch, for all its sparkle, tended toward melancholy.’
      • ‘Colors tend to be exquisite, but in an unusual way, at once vivid and fading, as if a still-potent splendor were half-vanishing before one's eyes, introducing a vaguely mournful, even elegiac tone.’
      • ‘Coleridge enthusiastically appropriated Schiller's lines, even to the extent of changing into pure hexameters what in Schiller's original is an elegiac distich.’
      • ‘What he does remember, however, strikes a poignant, elegiac note.’
      • ‘Only the last haunting and elegiac shot of the steam train bearing the wounded Ned back to Melbourne and his hanging carry a real resonance.’
      • ‘Smith's ‘illegitimate’ sonnet consists of three elegiac quatrains and a couplet, thus combining both English elegiac meters.’
      • ‘Berger has found the perfect form for his elegiac, still-hopeful revelation of the worth of us all, so easily stolen by time.’
      • ‘By the way, I think it's a wonderful scene. an elegiac scene, very touching.’
      • ‘This is primarily a period piece and, as you might expect from the elegiac nature of the film, the pace is appropriately funereal.’
      • ‘He also wrote numerous poems in elegiac distichs.’
      • ‘Hexameters are the epic meter; by stealing a foot in the second line, Cupid has turned it into elegiac meter, used for love poetry.’
      • ‘The rhythm of 1970s TV seem so unusual now that they add to the sense that you are watching something wholly other: long, slow scenes; wordy dialogue; and elegiac tracking shots of an empty England.’
      • ‘As the book closes, it becomes transformed into a moving, elegiac memoir for the writer's parents.’
      • ‘He used to recite dirge songs and had established a unique status for his touching elegiac tone.’
      • ‘Her pessimism and elegiac outlook could only perceive the contemporary social and political developments of indigenous peoples as a slow decline and erosion of tradition.’
      • ‘The wistful elegiac moods of the Sonnets, were conveyed with just the right balance of outward expression and gesture, and delicate tonal control.’
      • ‘But as the mournful, elegiac music began to gently move through the air, and voices, distinct and intense, began to tell their tale, in their own words, something incredible happened.’
      • ‘Although the work ended in renewal, it was deeply elegiac.’
      • ‘And now here is a book which is mostly poetry, or at least a kind of elegiac wistfulness.’
      • ‘Its tone is consummately elegiac and mournful.’
      • ‘A soundtrack of mournful chanting gives the whole work an elegiac quality.’
      • ‘With that said, there's really nothing bad about this affair - it's mournful, haunting, stirring, elegiac…’
      mournful, melancholic, melancholy, plaintive, sorrowful, sad, lamenting, doleful
      View synonyms

plural noun

elegiacs
  • Verses in an elegiac meter.

    • ‘In poems written entirely in hexameters the break is possibly not quite so rare as in elegiacs.’
    • ‘In the long poems, the first and last are metrically related to the neighbouring shorter poems: poem 61 is in lyric metre, 65-8 in elegiacs.’
    • ‘The Elegiacs may be rhymed or not.’
    • ‘Translated, these Latin elegiacs mean: Breasts, O mother, milk and life thou didst give.’
    • ‘Through the narrative, the poet's elegiacs become a leitmotif.’

Origin

Late 16th century: from French élégiaque, or via late Latin, from Greek elegeiakos, from elegeia (see elegy).

Pronunciation

elegiac

/ˌɛləˈdʒaɪək//ˌeləˈjīək/