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

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 Sam lets it out in his manly, whoop-de-doo gym aria that Andrew Potter made more playful, even a touch remorseful, than show-offy. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, "Review: L.A. gets its live opera back. What POP proved on an outdoor stage near Highland Park," 26 Apr. 2021 Every mezzo soprano sings the aria in her own unique way. San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘The Barber of Seville’ gets a trimmed-down, pandemic-friendly San Diego Opera production," 18 Apr. 2021 One of its most poignant scenes shows Miles’ mother, Susan Hargrove, dancing to an aria sung by tenor Luciano Pavarotti. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "Dallas filmmaker lands streaming deal for documentary about his dad’s kidnapping," 17 Mar. 2021 Brittany Renee’s clear but passionate soprano beautifully suited virtuous Micaela, with her third-act aria both tortured and luminous. Matthew J. Palm,, "In 1960s Haiti, ‘Carmen’ is more intensely real | Review," 2 Apr. 2021 If the Fat Lady’s about to sing, Drew Brees isn’t hanging for the aria. Nick Canepa Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Brees hasn’t said he’s retiring, and until he does, he isn’t," 6 Mar. 2021 Seeing audiences keenly listening to an aria from the 17th century opera Dido and Aeneas during Black Lives Matter protests was a highlight, Costanzo says. Anne Quito, Quartz, "Inside the six-month experiment to revive New York’s performing arts scene," 20 Feb. 2021 When Emmett sings about cooking Italian food, his comic aria is flavored by Rossini and Verdi. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "Review: Fort Worth Opera streams a new Zoom production. But the main messages fall flat," 15 Jan. 2021 What could the bright bounce of the Four Tops have in common with a Mozart aria? New York Times, "5 Things to Do This Weekend," 7 Jan. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about aria

Statistics for aria

Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aria.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for aria



English Language Learners Definition of aria

: a song in an opera sung by one person

More from Merriam-Webster on aria

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for aria

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

Comments on aria

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!