from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A poem or song of mourning or lamentation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A song or poem of lamentation or mourning for a dead person; a dirge; an elegy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A song of lamentation; a threnode.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A song of lamentation; a dirge; especially, a poem composed for the occasion of the funeral of some personage.

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


Greek thrēnōidiā : thrēnos, lament + aoidē, ōidē, song; see ode.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek θρηνῳδία (thrēnōidia, "lamentation"), from θρῆνος (thrēnos, "lament, wail, dirge") + ᾠδή (ōidē, "song"). (Wiktionary)


  • Now I know there are a lot of words that will be used between storied, but threnody is a sufficiently unusual one as to catch my attention.

    Random Thoughts

  • Now for those of us who do not know what that word means right off hand (I had to look it up as I was reading a passage from Ralph Waldo Emerson long ago), a threnody is a song or hymn inspired by the grief of losing someone you love.


  • As written, the diphthongization is a kind of threnody in its own right.

    Phonemanography: Romantic to Victorian

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson long ago), a threnody is a song or hymn inspired by the grief of losing someone you love.


  • "For those of us who do not know what [the] word [ 'threnody']


  • House of Exile is a bold, inventive and often haunting threnody for European letters in a terrible century.

    House of Exile by Evelyn Juers – review

  • The riot of imagery and emotional inflation in the short feminist allegory “The Call,” in the long poem “The Children of the Moon,” or in the blazing threnody “A Litany at Atlanta” suggested trances, gnostic visions, dark nights of the soul, and, as one perceptive biographer observed, other intensely religious moments that are surprising at first to see in an agnostic and publicly restrained Du Bois.


  • In fact, its tensions could have as much to do with the exquisite intensity of love -- Barber didn't intend it as a threnody -- but Alsop and the orchestra did nothing to go against the prevailing view; it got a gentle, modulated performance from the orchestra's rich strings.

    In performance: Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

  • "Nothing will come of it," said Robert Bossu resignedly in Hugh Beringar's ear, when the two monodies had declined at last into one bitter threnody.

    A River So Long

  • In singing KBR's threnody I relied on the death of Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth who when stepping into the shower in a barracks electrically wired by KBR was electrocuted instead of washed.

    Christopher Brauchli: The Pentagon Loves KBR


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  • “We paying respect to the dead right now,” Juelz Santana told the Hammerstein Ballroom crowd Friday night, urging a moment of silence for the friends he had lost in recent months. “We gotta get this right.”

    Moments before, the screens above him onstage were displaying their photos — G-Baby, D-Train, Classik, Johnny Jerajian, Huddy 6 — while D.R.S.’s threnody “Gangsta Lean” played over the speakers.

    The New York Times, Survivors Celebrate a Family Reunion, by Jon Caramanica, November 28, 2010

    November 30, 2010