Tragic means sad on a grand scale. Rain on your parade? Sad. Weeks of rain leading to the destruction of a small town and the lives of those in it? Tragic.

Though the word tragic has come to be used for common sorrows, it's best reserved for the kind of sad, unavoidable situations that Shakespeare would have written about. In a staged tragedy, the main character comes to a sad end due to his or her one tragic flaw –– this lead is called a tragic hero.

Definitions of tragic
  1. adjective
    very sad; especially involving grief or death or destruction
    “a tragic face”
    “a tragic plight”
    “a tragic accident”
    synonyms: tragical
    experiencing or showing sorrow or unhappiness
  2. adjective
    of or relating to or characteristic of tragedy
    tragic hero”
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