Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

cantus firmus

play
noun cantus fir·mus \-ˈfir-məs, -ˈfər-\

Definition of cantus firmus

  1. 1 :  the plainsong or simple Gregorian melody originally sung in unison and prescribed as to form and use by ecclesiastical tradition

  2. 2 :  a melodic theme or subject; especially :  one for contrapuntal treatment



Origin of cantus firmus

Medieval Latin, literally, fixed song


First Known Use: 1847


Learn More about cantus firmus


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up cantus firmus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

immature or lacking adult sophistication

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

prompt angry oily maudlin
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ