Quick Reference

In Greek and Roman poetry, a poem written in elegiac couplets, as notably by Catullus and Propertius; in modern literature, a poem of serious reflection, typically a lament for the dead. The word is recorded from the early 16th century and comes via French or Latin from Greek elegeia, from elegos ‘mournful poem’.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »