Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


n. pl. co·thur·ni (-nī′)
1. A buskin worn by actors of classical tragedy.
2. The ancient style of classical tragedy.

[Latin, buskin, from Greek kothornos, perhaps of Lydian origin.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(kəʊˈθɜːnəs) or


n, pl -thurni (-ˈθɜːnaɪ) or -thurns
(Clothing & Fashion) the buskin worn in ancient Greek tragedy
[C18: from Latin, from Greek kothornos]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(koʊˈθɜr nəs)

also co•thurn

(ˈkoʊ θɜrn, koʊˈθɜrn)
n., pl. -ni (-nī).
2. a grave, elevated style of acting; tragedy.
[1720–30; < Latin < Greek kóthornos buskin]
co•thur′nal, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in classic literature ?
Is there a cothurnus in the world more tragic than these boots, whose soles are hanging out their tongues?"
As long as writers strut upon the stage with the cothurnus (4) and the mask impersonality affords, they hide behind their characters [...].