Definition of tragic in English:

tragic

adjective

  • 1Causing or characterized by extreme distress or sorrow.

    ‘the shooting was a tragic accident’
    • ‘It was there that he had a tragic accident with a saw in which he lost his left hand.’
    • ‘A young boy has died in a tragic accident after he was pulled unconscious from a swimming pool.’
    • ‘It was also apparent that an early morning tragic road accident in Monasterevin was to delay its progress.’
    • ‘Early today, they did not believe there were any suspicious circumstances and said they thought it was a tragic accident.’
    • ‘There have been a couple of tragic accident deaths over the weekend, and the congestion is bad on a daily basis.’
    • ‘Hampshire police have described the incident as a tragic accident.’
    • ‘An explosion which killed a retired couple at their home was a tragic accident, an inquest heard yesterday.’
    • ‘They have warned those looking after children to keep them away from garages and factory sites before there is a tragic accident.’
    • ‘It was a tragic accident, and in the U.S., no matter how tragic, most accidents are not crimes.’
    • ‘There was no evidence it was anything but a very tragic accident.’
    • ‘This is a plea to all bar owners and councillors to help make Bolton a place to be proud of and to prevent these tragic accidents happening.’
    • ‘It could have been a tragic accident, or there could have been third party involvement.’
    • ‘Everyone at the school is extremely shaken and saddened by the tragic accident.’
    • ‘Nothing they told us suggests that this was anything other than a tragic accident.’
    • ‘Three more people died on local roads in the past week in two tragic accidents’
    • ‘Their deaths are so tragic that several minutes are spent on their horror.’
    • ‘Safety rules for school trips are to be tightened up in a bid to reduce the potential for tragic accidents.’
    • ‘In the past three years, eight young people from the general area have lost their lives in tragic accidents.’
    • ‘Police are treating the death as a tragic accident and the coroner has been informed.’
    • ‘It was a tragic accident, but accidents happen in demolition all the time.’
    disastrous, calamitous, catastrophic, cataclysmic, devastating, terrible, dreadful, appalling, horrendous, dire, ruinous, gruesome, awful, miserable, wretched, unfortunate
    dreadful, terrible, awful, deplorable, lamentable, regrettable, abject, miserable, wretched, grievous, galling, vexatious
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Suffering extreme distress or sorrow.
      ‘the tragic parents reached the end of their tether’
      • ‘The agony goes on for the parents of the tragic four-year-old as doctors remain baffled as to how he died.’
      • ‘If a happy state of things, surprising; if miserable or tragic, no worse than what we invent.’
      • ‘His later years were miserable and tragic: he was put in jail and died poor in 1968.’
      • ‘The tragic lives of parents are never a reason to repeat the tragedy upon their children.’
      • ‘The devastated parents of a tragic two-year-old girl who died after choking told of their heartache last night.’
      • ‘Most shamefully of all, she hid behind the tragic parents of the girl, who she exploited.’
      • ‘The sister is married and living in the same apartment where her tragic parents once resided.’
      • ‘Also the killing of these animals is only the last atrocity that they have to suffer throughout their short, tragic lives.’
      • ‘The Left in two of its three forms in the UK is suffering badly from this whole tragic mess.’
      • ‘The parents of tragic Robbie are celebrating the birth of a baby daughter.’
      sad, unhappy, pathetic, moving, distressing, painful, sorrowful, heart-rending, agonizing, stirring, disturbing, pitiful, piteous
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2informal Very bad or inadeqate.
      ‘she wears tragic cardigans, usually done up the wrong way’
      ‘on the other hand, I like degenerate, tragic food’
      • ‘I'm a model cinephile, sure, but beyond that, my God, I'm tragic.’
      • ‘The other main character is Robert, another drinker - they connect through a shared knowledge of really tragic music, and there is a certain beauty to their relationship even if together they have double the trouble keeping off the bottle.’
      • ‘The last film I watched: this is tragic - embarrassing - I didn't mean to but I actually got hooked up in the movie channel yesterday daytime.’
      • ‘Dicko says she looks better from the neck up, but her outfit is tragic, and she should dress "younger".’
      • ‘Miss Wilson can't even control her tragic 70s hairdo let alone a class.’
      • ‘Afterwards, we retired over the road for a really tragic Italian meal.’
      • ‘Oh, but the 1980s were tragic, weren't they?’
      • ‘I know it's a bit tragic I could remember, that I took so long to do it, and that I actually bothered trying to remember.’
      • ‘I don't like sport, but partaking in an empty bout of national whooping and cheering simply for the sake of it would be utterly tragic.’
      • ‘The Bradys sport the same tragic early-seventies quiffs, boast wardrobes packed with polyester flares, and talk in absurd sitcom gagspeak.’
      • ‘We did see some great outfits but there were a few tragic ones, too.’
      • ‘That reminds me. I'm going out to dinner at Isabella's tomorrow night. See? I'm not so tragic after all.’
      • ‘The pictures bring back a flood of memories and the girls joke about their "tragic childhood haircuts" and their clothes.’
      • ‘Gay icons usually have some tragedy in their lives, but I've only had tragic haircuts and outfits.’
      • ‘Mince pies become my life once December begins. Well, maybe not my life. I'm not quite that tragic.’
      • ‘Time to go for a wander - otherwise I'm in danger of turning into one of those tragic netslaves who go on holiday and spend two weeks figuring out how to say "do you have an adaptor?"’
  • 2Relating to tragedy in a literary work.

    • ‘Darius, of course, casts himself in the tragic rather than the comic mould.’
    • ‘The tragic, or Shakespearean, version of the story runs something like this.’
    • ‘They don't have categories for best actor in romantic role or best actor in a tragic role, so why comedy?’
    • ‘There is thus a mixture of the comic and the tragic, the virtuous and the villainous, the young and the old, the male and the female.’
    • ‘Hubris, the fatal flaw of a tragic hero which blinds him to the reality of the world, is not exactly in short supply at the present.’
    • ‘The excellent cast manage to tease out the humour of the play without undermining its tragic elements.’
    • ‘It may not be his most original play but it is his most unrelievedly tragic.’
    • ‘I've played Macbeth; you could call him a villain but Shakespeare calls him tragic.’
    • ‘It is truly tragic - but not in the way that Shakespeare intended, and surely not in the way that the producers had in mind.’
    • ‘Then again, it's a theme of war films to make tragedies all the more tragic, isn't it?’
    • ‘He laughs, mocking the pose a Shakespearean actor might take during a particularly tragic scene.’
    • ‘Seeing the work as a crude forebear of Elizabethan tragic drama effaces its status as an instance of de casibus literature.’
    • ‘It looked as though the record, like the opera, was to have a tragic finale.’
    • ‘One was left, at the end of the play, with a sense of pity for him, which was more due to his performance than the tragic figure he portrayed.’
    • ‘We analysed the plot movements within the parables, distinguishing between tragic and comic parables.’
    • ‘It was an excellent film - comic in parts, tragic in others, and poetic in others.’
    • ‘He points out to tragic dramatists that what is seen on the stage makes a deeper impression than what is only narrated.’
    • ‘The Play of King Lear is a great tragic play that many tragedies try to compare to.’
    • ‘He was the icon in an era of icons, but like Shakespeare's tragic heroes his fatal flaws cut short a certain glittering career.’
    • ‘The passionate retelling of Shakespeare's tragic story is set in the Italian city of Verona during high summer.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: from French tragique, via Latin from Greek tragikos, from tragos ‘goat’, but associated with tragōidia (see tragedy).

Pronunciation

tragic

/ˈtrajik//ˈtrædʒɪk/