Definition of elegiac in English:


Syllabification: el·e·gi·ac
Pronunciation: /ˌeləˈjīək, eˈlējēˌak


  • 1(Especially of a work of art) having a mournful quality: the movie score is a somber effort, elegiac in its approach
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    • 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.
    • Its tone is consummately elegiac and mournful.
    mournful, melancholic, melancholy, plaintive, sorrowful, sad, lamenting, doleful; funereal, dirgelike; nostalgic, valedictory, poignant
    literary dolorous
  • 1.1Wistfully mournful.
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    • Smith's ‘illegitimate’ sonnet consists of three elegiac quatrains and a couplet, thus combining both English elegiac meters.
    • Hexameters are the epic meter; by stealing a foot in the second line, Cupid has turned it into elegiac meter, used for love poetry.
    • Coleridge enthusiastically appropriated Schiller's lines, even to the extent of changing into pure hexameters what in Schiller's original is an elegiac distich.


(elegiacs) Back to top  
  • Verses in an elegiac meter.
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    • 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.
    • Through the narrative, the poet's elegiacs become a leitmotif.



Pronunciation: /ˌeləˈjīək(ə)lē/
More example sentences
  • Momus informs us, elegiacally, that Ettore Sottsass has died.
  • It takes a while for the film, elegiacally shot in the depressed streets of Dublin and stuffed with local slang, to live up to this pitch.


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

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