coun·​ter·​mel·​o·​dy ˈkau̇n-tər-ˌme-lə-dē How to pronounce countermelody (audio)
: a secondary melody that is sounded simultaneously with the principal one

Examples of countermelody in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The 21-year-old pop star slows down Drake’s uptempo 2015 smash, singing the song’s hook through waves of far-off reverb over relaxed ukulele strums and a bright synth countermelody. Hannah Dailey, Billboard, 10 May 2023 In the Allegretto, few conductors can resist unleashing a juggernaut of sound when the processional main theme rises to its climactic fortissimo, but here again Blomstedt held back, making sure that the countermelody in the first violins came through clearly, with its legato all aglow. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 23 Aug. 2021 Buenviaje’s take is full of chest-rumbling culinary bass notes, with a sprinkle of raw scallions providing the countermelody. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, 21 June 2022 Nevertheless, the theme of failure and absence runs underneath even the most joyful passages, a countermelody that insinuates the disaster to come. New York Times, 28 Feb. 2021 The moment the audience came in with the countermelody will live in my heart forever. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, 1 July 2018 In the soaring conclusion, Raymond and Hekselman play the melody in ebullient unison while a countermelody loops beneath them. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, 9 Feb. 2018 Prager was confidently cueing every entrance, conveying every dynamic, and accentuating every countermelody. Jonathan Merrill, National Review, 8 Sep. 2017 In his work with the actors, Mr. Leon emphasizes the moments when that melody and countermelody intersect in questions of privilege and prejudice, even among lovers. Jesse Green, New York Times, 5 July 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'countermelody.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1926, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of countermelody was in 1926

Dictionary Entries Near countermelody

Cite this Entry

“Countermelody.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


coun·​ter·​mel·​o·​dy ˈkau̇nt-ər-ˌmel-əd-ē How to pronounce countermelody (audio)
: a secondary melody that goes along with and often contrasts with a main melody
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