dirge


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dirge

 (dûrj)
n.
1. Music
a. A funeral hymn or lament.
b. A slow, mournful musical composition.
2. A mournful or elegiac poem or other literary work.
3. Roman Catholic Church The Office of the Dead.

[Middle English, an antiphon at Matins in the Office of the Dead, from Medieval Latin dīrige Domine, direct, O Lord (the opening words of the antiphon), imperative of dīrigere, to direct; see direct.]

dirge′ful adj.
Word History: The Office of the Dead is a traditional ecclesiastical office (a cycle of prayers) of the Roman Catholic Church that is sung or recited for the repose of the soul of a deceased person. Although the form of this ancient ritual has varied through the ages, in medieval times it consisted of a vespers service, a requiem mass, and a following service of matins and lauds. The traditional liturgical language of the Roman Catholic Church is Latin, and the first antiphon of the matins service of the Office of the Dead consists of the Latin words "Dīrige, Domine," "Direct, O Lord," a shorter version of a phrase occurring later in the liturgy, "Dīrige, Domine, Deus Meus, in cōnspectū tuō viam meam," "Direct, O Lord, my God, my way in thy sight." In Middle English, the matins of the Office came to be called dirige, after the opening word of the service. Dirige could also be used to refer to the entire Office of the Dead, not just the matins service, and the word was often shortened to dirge. Later, in the 1500s, dirge began to take on the more general senses of "a funeral hymn or lament" and "a mournful poem or musical composition."

dirge

(dɜːdʒ)
n
1. (Music, other) a chant of lamentation for the dead
2. (Ecclesiastical Terms) the funeral service in its solemn or sung forms
3. (Music, other) any mourning song or melody
[C13: changed from Latin dīrigē direct (imperative), opening word of the Latin antiphon used in the office of the dead]
ˈdirgeful adj

dirge

(dɜrdʒ)

n.
1. a funeral song or tune, or one expressing mourning in commemoration of the dead.
2. any composition resembling such a song or tune in character, as a poem of lament for the dead or solemn, mournful music.
3. the office of the dead, or the funeral service as sung.
[1175–1225; Middle English dir(i)ge < Latin dīrige (imperative of dīrigere to direct), first word of the antiphon sung in the Latin office of the dead (Psalm V, 8)]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.dirge - a song or hymn of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person
keen - a funeral lament sung with loud wailing
song, vocal - a short musical composition with words; "a successful musical must have at least three good songs"

dirge

noun lament, requiem, elegy, death march, threnody, dead march, funeral song, coronach (Scot. & Irish) the mournful dirge, `Erin's Lament'
Translations

dirge

[dɜːdʒ] Ncanto m fúnebre, endecha f

dirge

nGrab- or Trauer- or Klagegesang m

dirge

[dɜːdʒ] nlamento funebre
References in classic literature ?
The mother and daughter are singing together a wild and melancholy dirge, common as a funeral hymn among the slaves:
And now it is the time; from Hell's abyss Come thirsting Tantalus, come Sisyphus Heaving the cruel stone, come Tityus With vulture, and with wheel Ixion come, And come the sisters of the ceaseless toil; And all into this breast transfer their pains, And (if such tribute to despair be due) Chant in their deepest tones a doleful dirge Over a corse unworthy of a shroud.
The nine muses also came and lifted up their sweet voices in lament--calling and answering one another; there was not an Argive but wept for pity of the dirge they chaunted.
When they had borne the body within the house they laid it upon a bed and seated minstrels round it to lead the dirge, whereon the women joined in the sad music of their lament.
Much of the time he was chanting a kind of low dirge in the Delaware tongue, using the deep and remarkable guttural tones of his people.
The friends of the deceased, especially the women, repair here at sunrise and sunset for some time after his death, singing his funeral dirge, and uttering loud wailings and lamentations.
It was their dirge over their buried affections and over the vanity of earthly desires.
She did not answer, but went on, in a tone which was a soliloquy rather than an exclamation, and a dirge rather than a soliloquy.
Now it seemed to be a love song, now a majestic swelling war chant, and last of all a death dirge ending suddenly in one heart-breaking wail that went echoing and rolling away in a volume of blood-curdling sound.
It was a lovely afternoon; the leaves from the lofty limes were falling silently across the sombre evergreens, while the lights and shadows slept side by side: there was no sound but the cawing of the rooks, which to the accustomed ear is a lullaby, or that last solemn lullaby, a dirge.
and the dirge of the elaborate black cap) from the day when she called witchcraft to her aid and made it out of snow-flakes, and the dear worn hands that washed it tenderly in a basin, and the starching of it, and the finger-iron for its exquisite frills that looked like curls of sugar, and the sweet bands with which it tied beneath the chin
It was as though all his castles in the air had come toppling about his ears, the blue sky had turned to stony grey and the sweet waltz music had become a dirge.