Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
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.]
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."
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.
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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
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)]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
noun lament, requiem, elegy, death march, threnody, dead march, funeral song, coronach (Scot. & Irish) the mournful dirge, `Erin's Lament'
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
dirge[dɜːdʒ] n → lamento funebre
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995