- The definition of an elegy is a mournful piece of music or is a poem written as an ode to the dead.
An example of an elegy is a poem written to honor a deceased man.
- any poem in elegiac verse
- a poem or song of lament and praise for the dead, as Shelley's “Adonais”
- any poem, song, etc. in a mournfully contemplative tone: Gray's “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”
Origin: French élégie ; from Classical Latin elegia ; from Classical Greek elegeia ; from elegos, a lament ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps Indo-European base an unverified form el- from source alms
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
noun pl. el·e·gies
- A poem composed in elegiac couplets.
- a. A poem or song composed especially as a lament for a deceased person.b. Something resembling such a poem or song.
- Music A composition that is melancholy or pensive in tone.
Origin: French élégie, from Latin elegīa, from Greek elegeia, from pl. of elegeion, elegiac distich, from elegos, song, mournful song.
elegy - Cultural Definition
A form of poetry that mourns the loss of someone who has died or something that has deteriorated. A notable example is the “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard,” by Thomas Gray. (Compare eulogy.)