\ ˈär-ē-ə How to pronounce aria (audio) \
plural arias also arie

Definition of aria

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : air, melody, tune specifically : an accompanied, elaborate melody sung (as in an opera) by a single voice enjoyed the soprano's romantic aria
2 : a striking solo performance (as in a movie) … Russell Crowe's performance in Gladiator was all about the physical stuff—it was a brute-force aria of fighting and flexing and unleashing hell …— Jeff Gordinier
3 : a written or spoken passage or text likened to a dramatic or emotional operatic solo … a plainspoken but moving aria on the joys of rural living … .— Lauren Collins


geographical name
\ ˈer-ē-ə How to pronounce Aria (audio) , ˈa-rē-ə, ə-ˈrī-ə\

Definition of Aria (Entry 2 of 2)

1 an eastern province of the ancient Persian Empire; district now in northwestern Afghanistan and eastern Iran
2 — see herat

Examples of aria in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But at its most persuasive, First Person is an aria on the necessity of self-invention, on the faults of memory and the inadequacy of all language. William Giraldi,, "Richard Flanagan's 'First Person': A ghostwriter who fights lies with lies," 6 Apr. 2018 My favorite moment was the continuously escalating aria of the Sphinx, sung by the two women, wearing black bondage outfits. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘The Head & the Load’ and ‘Greek’ Reviews," 10 Dec. 2018 Cohn’s disappearance is explained in a brief aria sung by the famous bel canto mezzo-soprano Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Trump the Opera—II," 26 Dec. 2018 Breathe life into a song, belt out arias and jazz standards in half a dozen languages, enriching themselves and the lives of all who hear them. Courtland Milloy, Washington Post, "A love of music led one woman to a lifetime of teaching, and a lifeline for some boys at risk," 26 June 2018 Photo: guillermo arias/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images European governments wary of migrants are now passing further laws at odds with the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights, which underpins the court. Valentina Pop, WSJ, "U.N. Pact on Migration Sows Dissent," 8 Dec. 2018 This year, festival-goers were most eager to see Mozart’s The Magic Flute, a production so influential that even the most novice opera-goer could hum along to The Queen of the Night’s famous aria. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "At Austria’s Famous Salzburg Festival, the Hills Do Come Alive With the Sound of Music," 2 Aug. 2018 Two operatic superstars, tenor Vittorio Grigolo and soprano Angela Gheorghiu, returned to the Broad Stage in Santa Monica on Tuesday for a recital of arias and duets by Bizet, Gounod, Donizetti, Puccini and Bernstein. Rick Schultz,, "Grigolo and Gheorghiu give the Broad Stage its wake-up call," 2 May 2018 Abreu brings off the suicidal artist’s 30-minute succession of arias and accompanied recitatives most skillfully, while Mortellaro makes a most alluring love-object. John Von Rhein,, "Chicago Opera Theater brings flair to comic, serious Donizetti one-acters," 15 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aria.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of aria


1723, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for aria


Italian, literally, atmospheric air, modification of Latin aer

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Statistics for aria

Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for aria

The first known use of aria was in 1723

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English Language Learners Definition of aria

: a song in an opera sung by one person

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More from Merriam-Webster on aria

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for aria

Spanish Central: Translation of aria

Nglish: Translation of aria for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about aria

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