from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Music A funeral hymn or lament.
- n. Music A slow, mournful musical composition.
- n. A mournful or elegiac poem or other literary work.
- n. Roman Catholic Church The Office of the Dead.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A mournful poem or piece of music composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A piece of music of a mournful character, to accompany funeral rites; a funeral hymn.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A funeral hymn; the funeral service as sung; hence, a song or tune expressing grief, lamentation, and mourning.
- n. Synonyms Dirge, Requiem, Elegy, lament, threnody, coronach. The first three are primarily and almost uniformly suggested by the death of some person. A dirge or a requiem may be only music or may be a song. An elegy is a poem, which may or may not be sung. A requiem, being originally sung for the repose of the soul of a deceased person, retains a corresponding character when the music does not accompany words.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a song or hymn of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person
Middle English, an antiphon at Matins in the Office of the Dead, from Medieval Latin dīrige Domine, direct, O Lord (the opening words of the antiphon), imperative of dīrigere, to direct; see direct.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the beginning of an antiphon in the Latin requiem (Dirige, Domine, deus meus, in conspectu tuo viam meam) (Wiktionary)