Definition of elegiac in US English:

elegiac

adjective

  • 1Relating to or characteristic of an elegy.

    ‘haunting and elegiac poems’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The poems ranged across these six sections vary from the lyrical to the elegiac to the downright silly.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His poems use images of death and dying, and he has written elegiac poems to lost friends and family members.’
    • ‘Quite naturally, then, the elegiac strain is central to Indran's oeuvre.’
    • ‘The third movement's elegiac tone places it in line with the great Russian lament tradition.’
    • ‘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 wistful elegiac moods of the Sonnets, were conveyed with just the right balance of outward expression and gesture, and delicate tonal control.’
    • ‘As the book closes, it becomes transformed into a moving, elegiac memoir for the writer's parents.’
    • ‘This is primarily a period piece and, as you might expect from the elegiac nature of the film, the pace is appropriately funereal.’
    • ‘The film is an elegiac poem, one with deep felt un-maudlin sympathy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘By the way, I think it's a wonderful scene. an elegiac scene, very touching.’
    • ‘Berger has found the perfect form for his elegiac, still-hopeful revelation of the worth of us all, so easily stolen by time.’
    • ‘They're poems, written in verse in the first person, elegiac in format.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He used to recite dirge songs and had established a unique status for his touching elegiac tone.’
    • ‘What he does remember, however, strikes a poignant, elegiac note.’
    • ‘Ovid, the elegiac poet who was a contemporary of Livy, quotes her as saying to Tarquinius, ‘Why, victor, do you rejoice?’’
    • ‘Its tone is consummately elegiac and mournful.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Not merely is there the familiar trope of the ‘wounded civilisation’, there is also the elegiac evocation of the destruction of Vijayanagara.’
    • ‘These are punctuated in somber and sorrowful moments by elegiac strings.’
    • ‘The result is a beautiful book whose elegiac tone is quickened by the writer's own warmth and wit.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A soundtrack of mournful chanting gives the whole work an elegiac quality.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Rhapsodic, ironic, elegiac and disillusioned, the urban sketch, for all its sparkle, tended toward melancholy.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, it is a beautiful, elegiac work of art, at once powerfully iconic and subdued.’
    • ‘With that said, there's really nothing bad about this affair - it's mournful, haunting, stirring, elegiac…’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The problem of audience provides the most apt segue into the elegiac elements of the poems.’
    1. 1.1 Wistfully mournful.
      • ‘By the way, I think it's a wonderful scene. an elegiac scene, very touching.’
      • ‘Berger has found the perfect form for his elegiac, still-hopeful revelation of the worth of us all, so easily stolen by time.’
      • ‘He also wrote numerous poems in elegiac distichs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As the book closes, it becomes transformed into a moving, elegiac memoir for the writer's parents.’
      • ‘Coleridge enthusiastically appropriated Schiller's lines, even to the extent of changing into pure hexameters what in Schiller's original is an elegiac distich.’
      • ‘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 wistful elegiac moods of the Sonnets, were conveyed with just the right balance of outward expression and gesture, and delicate tonal control.’
      • ‘This is primarily a period piece and, as you might expect from the elegiac nature of the film, the pace is appropriately funereal.’
      • ‘These are punctuated in somber and sorrowful moments by elegiac strings.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘With that said, there's really nothing bad about this affair - it's mournful, haunting, stirring, elegiac…’
      • ‘He used to recite dirge songs and had established a unique status for his touching elegiac tone.’
      • ‘Rhapsodic, ironic, elegiac and disillusioned, the urban sketch, for all its sparkle, tended toward melancholy.’
      • ‘And now here is a book which is mostly poetry, or at least a kind of elegiac wistfulness.’
      • ‘Although the work ended in renewal, it was deeply elegiac.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Its tone is consummately elegiac and mournful.’
      • ‘What he does remember, however, strikes a poignant, elegiac note.’
      • ‘Smith's ‘illegitimate’ sonnet consists of three elegiac quatrains and a couplet, thus combining both English elegiac meters.’
      • ‘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.’
      mournful, melancholic, melancholy, plaintive, sorrowful, sad, lamenting, doleful
      View synonyms

plural noun

elegiacs
  • Verses in an elegiac meter.

    • ‘Through the narrative, the poet's elegiacs become a leitmotif.’
    • ‘The Elegiacs may be rhymed or not.’
    • ‘In poems written entirely in hexameters the break is possibly not quite so rare as in elegiacs.’
    • ‘Translated, these Latin elegiacs mean: Breasts, O mother, milk and life thou didst give.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

elegiac

/ˌɛləˈdʒaɪək//ˌeləˈjīək/