Definition of tragic in US English:

tragic

adjective

  • 1Causing or characterized by extreme distress or sorrow.

    ‘the shooting was a tragic accident’
    • ‘Hampshire police have described the incident as a tragic accident.’
    • ‘Everyone at the school is extremely shaken and saddened by the tragic accident.’
    • ‘It was there that he had a tragic accident with a saw in which he lost his left hand.’
    • ‘It was also apparent that an early morning tragic road accident in Monasterevin was to delay its progress.’
    • ‘There have been a couple of tragic accident deaths over the weekend, and the congestion is bad on a daily basis.’
    • ‘Police are treating the death as a tragic accident and the coroner has been informed.’
    • ‘It could have been a tragic accident, or there could have been third party involvement.’
    • ‘They have warned those looking after children to keep them away from garages and factory sites before there is a tragic accident.’
    • ‘Early today, they did not believe there were any suspicious circumstances and said they thought it was a tragic accident.’
    • ‘An explosion which killed a retired couple at their home was a tragic accident, an inquest heard yesterday.’
    • ‘There was no evidence it was anything but a very tragic accident.’
    • ‘In the past three years, eight young people from the general area have lost their lives in tragic accidents.’
    • ‘It was a tragic accident, but accidents happen in demolition all the time.’
    • ‘Nothing they told us suggests that this was anything other than a tragic accident.’
    • ‘Safety rules for school trips are to be tightened up in a bid to reduce the potential for tragic accidents.’
    • ‘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 was a tragic accident, and in the U.S., no matter how tragic, most accidents are not crimes.’
    • ‘Their deaths are so tragic that several minutes are spent on their horror.’
    • ‘A young boy has died in a tragic accident after he was pulled unconscious from a swimming pool.’
    • ‘Three more people died on local roads in the past week in two tragic accidents’
    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 devastated parents of a tragic two-year-old girl who died after choking told of their heartache last night.’
      • ‘If a happy state of things, surprising; if miserable or tragic, no worse than what we invent.’
      • ‘The agony goes on for the parents of the tragic four-year-old as doctors remain baffled as to how he died.’
      • ‘The sister is married and living in the same apartment where her tragic parents once resided.’
      • ‘The Left in two of its three forms in the UK is suffering badly from this whole tragic mess.’
      • ‘Also the killing of these animals is only the last atrocity that they have to suffer throughout their short, tragic lives.’
      • ‘Most shamefully of all, she hid behind the tragic parents of the girl, who she exploited.’
      • ‘The parents of tragic Robbie are celebrating the birth of a baby daughter.’
      • ‘The tragic lives of parents are never a reason to repeat the tragedy upon their children.’
      • ‘His later years were miserable and tragic: he was put in jail and died poor in 1968.’
      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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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?"’
      • ‘That reminds me. I'm going out to dinner at Isabella's tomorrow night. See? I'm not so tragic after all.’
      • ‘Afterwards, we retired over the road for a really tragic Italian meal.’
      • ‘I'm a model cinephile, sure, but beyond that, my God, I'm tragic.’
      • ‘Oh, but the 1980s were tragic, weren't they?’
      • ‘The pictures bring back a flood of memories and the girls joke about their "tragic childhood haircuts" and their clothes.’
      • ‘Mince pies become my life once December begins. Well, maybe not my life. I'm not quite that tragic.’
      • ‘We did see some great outfits but there were a few tragic ones, too.’
      • ‘Miss Wilson can't even control her tragic 70s hairdo let alone a class.’
      • ‘The Bradys sport the same tragic early-seventies quiffs, boast wardrobes packed with polyester flares, and talk in absurd sitcom gagspeak.’
      • ‘Dicko says she looks better from the neck up, but her outfit is tragic, and she should dress "younger".’
      • ‘Gay icons usually have some tragedy in their lives, but I've only had tragic haircuts and outfits.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2Relating to tragedy in a literary work.

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

Origin

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

Pronunciation

tragic

/ˈtrædʒɪk//ˈtrajik/