aria

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

Aria

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 Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak Corbett was clear that her route included getting a doctorate and ideally working on rapid vaccine development — an aria to Graham's ears. NBC News, "Scientist Kizzmekia Corbett leads the way on COVID-19 vaccine trials with dedication and humor," 7 Apr. 2020 Often Rivera’s poetic speeches become repetitive arias, rather than real people using poetry to try to climb out of their hellscape. cleveland, "‘Marisol’ at Cleveland Public Theatre is a poetic visit to a parallel universe," 11 Mar. 2020 While there, Andrea sang an aria for her, a piece called Occhi Di Fata (Fairy’s Eyes). Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Andrea Bocelli Reveals He Moved in With His Wife Veronica Berti the Same Night They Met," 18 Apr. 2020 Combining elements of video and performance art, the piece strings together seven famous arias associated with Callas and new music by the composer Marko Nikodijevic. Matthew Anderson, New York Times, "The Coronavirus Derails Marina Abramovic’s Maria Callas Opera," 9 Apr. 2020 The Italians themselves, who've been taking to their windows and balconies to sing everything from their national anthem to operatic arias to boost their morale during their quarantine. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "Coronavirus inspires chart-topping, click-worthy songs to laugh and wash your hands by," 18 Mar. 2020 As the cat moves, the sound shifts and changes, evolving from ethereal arias to scratchy white noise. Melissa Locker, Time, "Tentative and Musically Gifted Cat Playing a Theremin Has Given Us the Song of the Season," 11 Mar. 2020 Modern audiences won’t want to sit for hours through parades of static arias and confusing plots. Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, "Review: The Met Opera Is Handel’s House in ‘Agrippina’," 7 Feb. 2020 Kristen Dubenion-Smith possesses a lyric-mezzo of uncommon beauty, her flickering vibrato and the amber cast of her tone making something special out of the alto arias. Joe Banno, Washington Post, "One aria sums up a joyful Washington Bach Consort ‘Christmas Oratorio’," 23 Dec. 2019

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

Noun

1723, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for aria

Noun

Italian, literally, atmospheric air, modification of Latin aer

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about aria

Statistics for aria

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Aria.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aria. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for aria

aria

noun
How to pronounce Aria (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of aria

: a song in an opera sung by one person

Keep scrolling for more

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

Britannica.com: 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).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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