• WordNet 3.6
    • adj elegiac expressing sorrow often for something past "an elegiac lament for youthful ideals"
    • adj elegiac resembling or characteristic of or appropriate to an elegy "an elegiac poem on a friend's death"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Elegiac Belonging to elegy, or written in elegiacs; plaintive; expressing sorrow or lamentation; as, an elegiac lay; elegiac strains. "Elegiac griefs, and songs of love."
    • n Elegiac Elegiac verse.
    • Elegiac Used in elegies; as, elegiac verse; the elegiac distich or couplet, consisting of a dactylic hexameter and pentameter.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • elegiac In ancient prosody, an epithet noting a distich the first line of which is a dactylic hexameter and the second a pentameter, or verse differing from the hexameter by suppression of the arsis or metrically unaccented part of the third and the sixth foot, thus:
    • elegiac Verses or poems consisting of elegiac distichs are called elegiac verses or poems (elegiacs); poetry composed in this meter, elegiac verse or poetry (the elegy); and the writers who employed this verse, especially those who employed it exclusively or by preference, are known as the elegiac poets. Elegiac verse seems to have been used primarily in threnetic pieces (poems lamenting or commemorating the dead), or to have been associated with music of a kind regarded by the Greeks as mournful. Almost from its first appearance in literature, however, it is found used for compositions of various kinds. The principal Roman elegiac poets are Catullus, Tibullus, Propertius, and Ovid. In modern German literature the elegiac meter has been frequently used, especially by Goethe and Schiller. Coleridge's translation from the latter poet may serve as an example in English.
    • elegiac Belonging to an elegy, or to elegy; having to do with elegies.
    • elegiac Expressing sorrow or lamentation: as, elegiac strains.
    • n elegiac A pentameter, or verse consisting of two dactylic penthemims or written in elegiac meter.
    • elegiac A succession of distichs consisting each of a dactylic hexameter and a dipenthemim; a poem or poems in such distichs: as, the Heroides and Tristia of Ovid are written in elegiacs. See I.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Elegiac belonging to elegy: mournful: used in elegies, esp. noting the kind of metre, alternate hexameter and pentameter lines
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. elegiacus, Gr. : cf. F. élégiaque,. See Elegy
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L.,—Gr. elegos, a lament.


In literature:

In the fine melancholy of his elegiac poetry he is almost modern.
"A History of French Literature" by Edward Dowden
Many poems are therefore elegiacal that are not strictly elegies.
"Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 10" by Charles Herbert Sylvester
He has published several volumes of poems, most of them meditative and elegiac in mood.
"Modern British Poetry" by Various
It was to Mistress Anne Killigrew that Dryden wrote his noble elegiac ode, which Dr. Johnson thought the finest in the language.
"The Cornwall Coast" by Arthur L. Salmon
Elegiac Ode and other Poems.
"Southern Literature From 1579-1895" by Louise Manly
It blends the passion of personal regret with the dignity of public grief, as all great elegiacal poems should.
"Raleigh" by Edmund Gosse
Four Books of elegiac poems are attributed to Tibullus, who ranks first among Roman elegists in the view of Quintilian, x.
"The Student's Companion to Latin Authors" by George Middleton
G. W. Chadwick's "Elegiac Overture" produced (from MS.) by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
"Annals of Music in America" by Henry Charles Lahee
She looks like an elegiac figure weeping on a tombstone.
"The Gorgeous Isle" by Gertrude Atherton
It is free from the preternatural gloom which so often makes elegiac poetry an abomination to every healthy intellect.
"Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 4, September, 1850" by Various

In poetry:

I have no use for odic legions,
Or for the charm of elegiac play
For me, all verse should be off kilter
Not the usual way.
"I Have No Use For Odic Legions" by Anna Akhmatova
Though I could keep this up all day,
This lyric, elegiac, song,
Meseems hath come the time to say
Farewell! Adieu! Good-by! So long!
"To A Thesaurus" by Franklin Pierce Adams
Seems-this stillness, this height's an elegiac wave,
A concern of a soul for a mind,
The expectancy after an anxious "respond"!
Or an echo of different kind.
"On a fateful day, an unlucky time" by Boris Pasternak

In news:

Many of the best films in the western genre bear an elegiac quality.
Sam Shepard plays an aged Butch Cassidy in this elegiac portrait of the outlaw's later days.
Anti-Obama Ads Take Elegiac Tone.
Harvard film professor Ross McElwee adds another wonderful personal memoir, a film that is both forward-looking and elegiac.
Maclean, the author of the classic, elegiac memoir "A River Runs Through It," once told Robert Redford that Hollywood was the land of grease and the weasel.
A great film, rich in thought and feeling, composed in rhythms that vary from the elegiac to the spontaneous.
I just finished When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka – a wonderfully elegiac story of a Japanese-American family interned in Utah during World War II.
Smooth's 1992 elegiac masterpiece, 'They Reminisce Over You (T.
The elegant and elegiac "True Grit," which opens in theaters Wednesday, will get its share of Oscar nominations.
I've commented on this before, but the topic has a elegiac fascination.
Marylhurst An elegiac mood pervaded this exhibition of works in various mediums by Portland artist Pat Boas, a former critic for Artweek, Art Papers and artUS.
Photographer Sean Hemmerle finds an elegiac sign of America's fading industrial might in the crumbling urban ruins of the Motor City.
Special Section BooksBy MATTHEW KORFHAGE Keith Richards/James Fox, Life(Little, Brown, 576 pages, $29.99)Of this year's rock-star memoirs, Patti Smith's elegiac, sensuously attentive if painfully self- More.
Rapper Fat Joe, whom Lighty managed during the early years of his career, pays tribute to the late rap mogul on Slaughterhouse 's elegiac remix to 'Goodbye,' which was produced by hit maker Boi-1da.
New Zealand-born Australian filmmaker Andrew Dominik's last movie, 2007's "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," was an elegiac deconstruction of the Western that focused more on character and atmosphere than gunfights.