adjective Also el·e·gi·a·cal.

  1. used in, suitable for, or resembling an elegy.
  2. expressing sorrow or lamentation: elegiac strains.
  3. Classical Prosody. noting a distich or couplet the first line of which is a dactylic hexameter and the second a pentameter, or a verse differing from the hexameter by suppression of the arsis or metrically unaccented part of the third and the sixth foot.


  1. an elegiac or distich verse.
  2. a poem in such distichs or verses.


  1. resembling, characteristic of, relating to, or appropriate to an elegy
  2. lamenting; mournful; plaintive
  3. denoting or written in elegiac couplets or elegiac stanzas


  1. (often plural) an elegiac couplet or stanza

1580s, from Middle French élégiaque, from Latin elegiacus, from Greek elegeiakos, from eleigeia (see elegy). Related: Elegiacally.

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