\ 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 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 One of us had a recording of Maria Callas singing the Violetta aria in La Traviata. Seija Rankin,, "Read Charles Yu's first work of fiction since the National Book Award-winning Interior Chinatown," 5 Jan. 2021 Trump’s yearslong bewail of Philadelphia reached its aria in the presidential debate on the evening of Sept. 29. New York Times, "He Wanted to Count Every Vote in Philadelphia. His Party Had Other Ideas.," 16 Dec. 2020 With the driver's window down, the switchover sounds like a karaoke version of a Ferrari V-8 aria. Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2006 Honda Civic Si vs. Volkswagen GTI," 18 Nov. 2020

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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Last Updated

16 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aria.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of aria

: a song in an opera sung by one person

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