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Trag"e*dy (?), n.; pl. Tragedies (#). [OE. tragedie, OF. tragedie, F. tragédie, L. tragoedia, Gr. &unr_;, fr. &unr_; a tragic poet and singer, originally, a goat singer; &unr_; a goat (perhaps akin to &unr_; to gnaw, nibble, eat, and E. trout) + &unr_; to sing; from the oldest tragedies being exhibited when a goat was sacrificed, or because a goat was the prize, or because the actors were clothed in goatskins. See Ode.]
1. A dramatic poem, composed in elevated style, representing a signal action performed by some person or persons, and having a fatal issue; that species of drama which represents the sad or terrible phases of character and life.
Tragedy is to say a certain storie, Chaucer.
As olde bookes maken us memorie,
Of him that stood in great prosperitee
And is yfallen out of high degree
Into misery and endeth wretchedly.
All our tragedies are of kings and princes. Jer. Taylor.
tragedy is poetry in its deepest earnest; comedy is poetry in unlimited jest. Coleridge.
2. A fatal and mournful event; any event in which human lives are lost by human violence, more especially by unauthorized violence.