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[truh-jee-dee-uh n] /trəˈdʒi di ən/
an actor especially noted for performing tragic roles.
a writer of tragedy.
Origin of tragedian
1325-75; tragedy + -an; replacing Middle English tragedien < Middle French Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tragedian
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Scarlet boots were fitted with spurs so huge as to stagger any tragedian!

    Nat Goodwin's Book Nat C. Goodwin
  • I admire also Sophocles as a tragedian, Polycleitus as a sculptor, and Zeuxis as a painter.

    The Memorabilia Xenophon
  • I was not fool enough to think that I could shine either as tragedian or comedian.

    Ellen Terry and Her Sisters T. Edgar Pemberton
  • At this point, Maxwell, the tragedian from Marlboro, obtained the floor.

  • "You know how to provoke it, madame," continued the tragedian.

    The Newcomes William Makepeace Thackeray
  • She had her own ideas—she eloped with the second tragedian from the theatre over there.

    The Readjustment Will Irwin
  • The choosing of a Chorus is indeed one of the main problems of the tragedian.

  • Of course the price of the stock at once fell to nothing, and the tragedian was ruined.

    Roughing It Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • The tragedian shouted, hissed, quivered, and squeezed Masha in his iron embrace.

British Dictionary definitions for tragedian


an actor who specializes in tragic roles
a writer of tragedy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tragedian

"writer of tragedies," late 14c., from Old French tragediane (Modern French tragédien), from tragedie (see tragedy). Another word for this was tragician (mid-15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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