Definitions

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

  • n. A literary work or speech expressing a bitter lament or a righteous prophecy of doom.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A long speech or prose work that bitterly laments the state of society and its morals, and often contains a prophecy of its coming downfall.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A tale of sorrow, disappointment, or complaint; a doleful story; a dolorous tirade; -- generally used satirically.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Lamentation; an utterance of grief or sorrow; a complaining tirade: used with a spice of ridicule or mockery, implying either that the grief itself is unnecessarily great, or that the utterance of it is tediously drawn out and attended with a certain satisfaction to the utterer.

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

  • n. a long and mournful complaint

Etymologies

French jérémiade, after Jérémie, Jeremiah, author of The Lamentations, from Late Latin Ieremiās; see Jeremiah1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French jérémiade, from Jérémie, from Latin Ieremias, from Hebrew ירמיה ("Jeremiah"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Keillor’s jeremiad is wrong on so many levels, and proceeds from a place of such monumental self-regard and fundamental misinformation, that a proper rebuttal would require an entire afternoon and a minimum of ten double-spaced pages.

    Publishing vs. that guy with the voice I can’t stand

  • The expectation of jeremiad is so deeply ingrained in Americans’ political consciousness that it might seem to be universal.

    How America Can Rise Again

  • Who says calling up the local hub and filling up the whole fifteen-minute block of the operator's voicemail with a howling spoken word jeremiad about FRAUD and LIES doesn't get you anywhere?

    Nick Mamatas' Journal

  • The New Yorker today is just as willing to publish a barely illustrated, three-part, 30,000-word jeremiad on climate change as founding editor Harold Ross was happy to devote an entire issue to one article on the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing.

    Good Magazine: The 51 Best Magazines Ever

  • In 1980, George W.S. Trow, a veteran New Yorker staff writer and one of the founding editors of The National Lampoon, published a 25,000-word jeremiad decrying the evils of television.

    The Shame of No Shame: Fawning, Sniping in Media Land

  • America has a grand tradition of the "jeremiad," a form named after the prophet Jeremiah who was sent to tell a nation to repent before it was too late.

    Briallen Hopper: Obama and the Apocalypse: A Religious Response to the BP Oil Spill

  • It helpfully reasserts the book's argument; and by its resort to invective — "jeremiad," "screeds," "emotionally gratifying," "capitalist hobgoblins," etc. — his letter offers an instructive insight into Reich's own thought processes.

    'Supercapitalism': An Exchange

  • The whole of the first act consists of one emphatic jeremiad by Cicero, about the desperate condition of Rome as it then was, its factiousness, its servility, -- a jeremiad which is continued at the end of the act, by the chorus, in rhymed stanzas.

    The Critics Versus Shakspere A Brief for the Defendant

  • "The Great Gatsby" is a kind of jeremiad (as any student of Bercovitch's will tell you).

    NYT > Home Page

  • Jesus' ­miracles are "magic tricks"; the sensitive and subtle theologian, philosopher and preacher Jonathan ­Edwards's best-known jeremiad is a "slasher sermon"; the parting of the Red Sea is the Bible's "most ­over-the-top miracle."

    History With Wisecracks

Comments

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  • the same sense of dread animates Matthew Crawford’s jeremiad, just as it animated The Crafstman

    May 19, 2010

  • I wonder what the essential difference between this and a rodomontade is.

    March 19, 2009

  • Who cares that the crones and the predikants, using separate sets of words, murmur jeremiads that too much optimism is bad for the soul, and attracts perhaps more attention from God than, strictly speaking, is desirable?

    (Gregory Maguire, Confession of an ugly stepsister)

    January 28, 2009

  • *is having a happy X-Files flashback right now*

    July 16, 2008

  • was a bullfrog . . .

    July 16, 2008

  • A long and mournful complaint
    "a jeremiad against any form of government"

    "the function of a jeremiad is to premonish"

    August 13, 2007