Simple Definition of opus
: a piece of music written by a major composer
: an important work done by a writer, painter, etc.
Examples of opus in a sentence
<the composer's final opus was performed posthumously to great acclaim>
Did You Know?
A literary opus is often a single novel, though the word may sometimes refer to all of a writer's works. But opus normally is used for musical works. Mendelssohn's Opus 90 is his Italian Symphony, for example, and Brahms's Op. 77 is his Violin Concerto. Since many composers' works were never given opus numbers in an orderly way, they now often have catalog numbers assigned by later scholars. So Haydn's Symphony No. 104 is Hob.104 (Hob. is short for Anthony van Hoboken, the cataloger), and Mozart's Marriage of Figaro is K.492 (K. stands for Ludwig Köchel).
Origin and Etymology of opus
Latin oper-, opus — more at operate
First Known Use: 1809
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