from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of drama representing some action in which serious and comic scenes are blended; a composition partaking of the nature both of tragedy and comedy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A dramatic composition in which serious and comic scenes are blended; a composition partaking of the nature of both tragedy and comedy, and of which the event is not unhappy, as Shakspere's “Measure for Measure.”

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

  • n. a comedy with serious elements or overtones
  • n. a dramatic composition involving elements of both tragedy and comedy usually with the tragic predominating


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • While theoretical academics and self-conscious modernists shy away from the sentimental pitfalls of such subjects as love, sex and death, the country and western crooners would give the human tragi-comedy full unashamed voice.

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  • The push-button shallowness of ,emOff the Map means it's going to miss the epic tragi-comedy of what working overseas in aid, journalism or policy is really like.

    MP Nunan: "Off the Map" Is Off the Mark

  • The result is that usual family compromise that looks like madness and indulgence to grown up people who have no children, and parents who have forgotten the tragi-comedy of those early years.

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  • Well, I, mere woman that I am, thought Their Finest Hour and a Half by Lissa Evans to be a completely splendid novel, and a tragi-comedy of the highest order.

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  • In literature, there are novels ... in which a mild tragi-comedy arises naturally out of context and situation, novels which are softly witty but which may never elicit an actual laugh; and there are also "comic novels", which correspond to the man who comes up to you and says, "have you heard the one about ...?", novels obviously very busy at the business of being comic.

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  • I don't doubt the applicability of Wood's distinction between "mild tragi-comedy" -- what he will go on to identify as "humor" more properly understood -- and the "comic" as illustrated in Sterne or Pynchon.

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  • And as if all that were not enough, the friend of the king, and the tragi-comedy that he had played in recent months, came to destroy what little credibility was left in the elections.

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  • Alan Ayckbourn claims Chekhov's great tragi-comedy about love, desire and regret among his favourite plays, so it's a brave move to take it on and give it an English twist.

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  • The marital tragi-comedy stars the director's actress wife Emmanuelle Seigner as a free-spirited temptress wed to an invalid Peter Coyote, engaged in seductive cruise-ship shenanigans with Hugh Grant and Kristin Scott-Thomas.

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  • The German driven austerity pact adopted by 25 out of 27 EU countries at the summit on 30 January represents another false step in the tragi-comedy which has characterised the crisis to date.

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