Tragedy vs travesty

tragedy is a situation or action that results in an extreme amount of sadness, injury, or destruction. This term is also used to describe a genre of theater that is especially sad or ends unhappily.

travesty is a distorted copy of something, usually intentionally. This is used with ideas and issues, like justice or peace. A travesty of justice would be a horrible imitation and results in sadness or anger in those who witness it.

Travesty can also be a verb when someone makes a travesty of something else.


Some travesties can be tragedies, but not all. And not all tragedies are travesties.


Survivors, relatives of victims and football authorities on Friday marked the 30th anniversary of the Heysel stadium tragedy where 39 people died during fan violence at the 1985 European Cup final between Liverpool and Juventus in Brussels. [Fox Sports]

We went through a trial universally condemned as a travesty, convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison – with an extra three years for my colleague Mohamed Baher for possessing a single souvenir bullet casing. [The Guardian]

In any case, they’ve concocted, for The End,  what seem hundreds of sometime ridiculous or offensive but mostly hilarious jokes and given them to actor Rogen and his five outrageously self-flagellating actor-buddies James (The Great Profile) Franco, Jonah (“The Possessed”) Hill, Craig (“Take Yo Panties Off”) Robinson, Jay (Woody, Jr.) Baruchel and Danny (Mr. Filth) McBride—all of whom appear in the movie playing themselves (or travesties of themselves ) along with a lot of other young, hip Hollywood movie stars, playing (and travestying) themselves. [Movie City News]


Check Your Text


  1. David Bronke says:

    Travesty can also be a verb when someone makes a travesty of something else.

    This is not an example of it being used as a verb; in the given case, the verb would be make.

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