Definition of tragicomedy in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌtradʒɪˈkɒmɪdi/

noun (plural tragicomedies)

1A play or novel containing elements of both comedy and tragedy.
Example sentences
  • It's like a romantic comedy written by Beckett - a romantic tragicomedy - in which romance dies not in some passionate combustion, but fizzles out into uncomfortable, aseptic banality.
  • And he aims to complete this picture with a tragicomedy dealing with the relationship between two fiery best friends.
  • Of his three rousing tragicomedies, Juno and the Paycock is the most popular, The Shadow of a Gunman the most moving, and The Plow and the Stars the most accomplished.
1.1 [mass noun] Tragicomedies as a genre.
Example sentences
  • It would seem that tragicomedy was the new genre of the moment, and that Shakespeare, Fletcher, and Beaumont sparked each other off to develop that genre to its full potential.
  • Part fairy tale, part tragicomedy, it's sure to be a hit.
  • This film could have been deadly earnest and full of moral fury, but the tone is the stuff of tragicomedy.



Pronunciation: /ˌtradʒɪˈkɒmɪk/
Example sentences
  • It would be tragicomic if it had not cost so many lives.
  • A moving, tragicomic tale of a woman facing the loss of a breast to cancer has won the annual Seniors Week short story competition.
  • Well, here's a revealing, tragicomic, ugly example.


Pronunciation: /ˌtradʒɪˈkɒmɪkli/
Example sentences
  • It's a very serious issue; they're often abetted by over-zealous or uninformed prosecutors; and it does happen - as the notorious case I just mentioned tragicomically demonstrated.
  • Once again the defense was tragicomically inept, particularly against our point guard, who racked up seven assists before the first quarter was over.
  • A stout but vulnerable little object, it heaves part of itself aloft in a way that leaves one footlike dowel hanging, tragicomically, a few inches off the ground.


Late 16th century: from French tragicomédie or Italian tragicomedia, based on Latin tragicocomoedia, from tragicus (see tragic) + comoedia (see comedy).

Words that rhyme with tragicomedy

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.