One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Tragic; of a tragic demeanour.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Thomas Surr (bap. 1770, d. 1847), novelist. From classical Latin Melpomenē, the name of the Muse who presided over tragedy (from ancient Greek Μελπομένη, the name of a Muse originally associated with song and subsequently especially with tragedy from μέλπειν to sing, of unknown origin) + -ish.
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