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1

descant

play
noun des·cant \ˈdes-ˌkant\

Simple Definition of descant

  • music : a high melody that is sung or played along with the main melody of a song

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of descant

  1. 1 a :  a melody or counterpoint sung above the plainsong of the tenor b :  the art of composing or improvising contrapuntal part music; also :  the music so composed or improvised c :  soprano, treble d :  a superimposed counterpoint to a simple melody sung typically by some or all of the sopranos

  2. 2 :  discourse or comment on a theme

Variants of descant

also discant play \ˈdis-\

Origin of descant

Middle English dyscant, from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French descaunt, from Medieval Latin discantus, from Latin dis- + cantus song — more at chant


First Known Use: 14th century


2

descant

play
verb des·cant \ˈdes-ˌkant, des-ˈ, dis-ˈ\

Definition of descant

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to sing or play a descant; broadly :  sing

  3. 2 :  comment, discourse



Examples of descant in a sentence

  1. <an English professor who loves to descant on his beloved Shakespeare>

  2. <the soprano descanted above the melody line>



15th Century

First Known Use of descant

15th century


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