noun, plural elegies.
a mournful, melancholy, or plaintive poem, especially a funeral song or a lament for the dead.
a poem written in elegiac meter.
a sad or mournful musical composition.

1505–15; (< Middle French) < Latin elegīa < Greek elegeía, orig. neuter plural of elegeîos elegiac, equivalent to éleg(os) a lament + -eios adj. suffix

elegy, eulogy.
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World English Dictionary
elegy (ˈɛlɪdʒɪ)
n , pl -gies
1.  a mournful or plaintive poem or song, esp a lament for the dead
2.  poetry or a poem written in elegiac couplets or stanzas

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1514, from M.Fr. elegie, from L. elegia, from Gk. elegeia ode "an elegaic song," from elegeia, fem. of elegeios "elegaic," from elegos "poem or song of lament," perhaps from a Phrygian word.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
elegy [(el-uh-jee)]

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.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
It's an elegy to the loss of individuality.
His elegy on Oakes reaches a length of over four hundred lines.
Murray's smart novel, set in a Dublin boys' school, is an elegy to lost youth.
Their dancing was both celebration and elegy.
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