Definitions

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

  • n. A writer of tragedies.
  • n. One who performs tragic roles in the theater.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An actor who specializes in tragic roles.
  • n. A playwright who writes tragedies.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A writer of tragedy.
  • n. An actor or player in tragedy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A writer of tragedies.
  • n. An actor of tragedy; by extension, an actor or player in general.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an actor who specializes in tragic roles
  • n. a writer (especially a playwright) who writes tragedies

Etymologies

From Ancient Greek τραγωδός (tragodos, "tragedy singer, tragic poet"), from τράγος (tragos, "male goat") + αοιδός (aoidos, "singer"), a reference to the goat-satyrs of the theatrical plays of the Dorians. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • A tragedian is a hard character only on the stage, but the comedian is the comedian always.

    The Idiot

  • Our tragedian was a rough joker off the stage; our prime clown the most peevish mortal living.

    Tales of a Traveller

  • It is a discussion on the nature of love, taking the form of a group of speeches, both satirical and serious, given by a group of men at a symposium or a wine drinking gathering at the house of the tragedian Agathon at Athens.

    Archive 2009-03-01

  • She gives us Sondheim the romantic ("Take the Moment"), Sondheim the trickster (his little known Gershwin homage "More"), Sondheim the tragedian ("Loving You") and Sondheim the showman ("Let Me Entertain You").

    Dizzy's Welcomes an Old Friend

  • "Fascinated with the meeting of memory and language, adept at conjuring states of mind, and haunted by the violence wracking his homeland, Hemon is a stoic tragedian and a brilliant satirist."

    The Question of Bruno by Aleksandar Hemon: Book summary

  • Joni Mitchell: In a way, I think I entered straight into my tragedian period, as my work is set against the stupid, destructive way we live on this planet.

    Friday Morning Time Slip « Gerry Canavan

  • Dan Donohue, who plays the title role in the OSF production of "Hamlet" that I praised in this space last week, doubles as the snobbish headwaiter of "She Loves Me," and he turns out to be as good a comedian as he is a tragedian.

    In Love With 'She Loves Me'

  • The wreck and ruin of the Bush years was the powerful tragedian backdrop to Obama's impassioned shouts to remake America.

    Earl Ofari Hutchinson: Gibbs Need Not Apologize for Blasting the "Professional Left"

  • The class watched me intently as I convulsed, foamed at the mouth, and collapsed to the floor in a dramatically reenacted tragedian stage death.

    Going Mutant

  • Having started out largely as a screen tragedian, Streep appears to be having a blast these days making movies like Mama Mia and the Devil Wears Prada.

    The Race To Replace Teddy: Why Isn’t the GOP Candidate Campaigning on Immigration?

Comments

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  • Does it not also refer to actors who perform said tragedies? The singers of goat songs, as it were?

    November 18, 2007

  • It is a pretty cool word.

    November 18, 2007

  • I love this word. Hence the user name.

    November 18, 2007