lyric

noun
lyr·​ic | \ ˈlir-ik How to pronounce lyric (audio) \

Definition of lyric

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a lyric composition specifically : a lyric poem
2 : the words of a song often used in plural

lyric

adjective

Definition of lyric (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : suitable for singing to the lyre or for being set to music and sung
b : of, relating to, or being drama set to music especially : operatic lyric stage
2a : expressing direct usually intense personal emotion especially in a manner suggestive of song lyric poetry
b : exuberant, rhapsodic exploded with lyric wrathTime
3 of an opera singer : having a light voice and a melodic style a lyric soprano — compare dramatic

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for lyric

Synonyms: Noun

poem, rune, song, verse

Synonyms: Adjective

euphonious, lyrical, mellifluent, mellifluous, mellow, melodic, melodious, musical

Antonyms: Adjective

unlyrical

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?

Adjective

To the ancient Greeks, anything lyrikos was appropriate to the lyre. That elegant stringed instrument was highly regarded by the Greeks and was used to accompany intensely personal poetry that revealed the thoughts and feelings of the poet. When the adjective lyric, a descendant of lyrikos, was adopted into English in the 1500s, it too referred to things pertaining or adapted to the lyre. Initially, it was applied to poetic forms (such as elegies, odes, or sonnets) that expressed strong emotion, to poets who wrote such works, or to things that were meant to be sung; over time, it was extended to anything musical or rhapsodic. Nowadays, lyric is also used as a noun naming either a type of poem or the words of a song.

Examples of lyric in a Sentence

Noun

a song with a beautiful lyric a poet admired for his lyrics

Adjective

they performed a slow, lyric dance for the audience the film's lyric photography really enhanced its romantic mood
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Those lyrics became a hit song for James Ingram and Patti Austin in 1983. Byron Mccauley, Cincinnati.com, "Marian and Donald Spencer: A love story," 12 July 2019 What: The North American tour of the 2017 Tony Award-winning musical with book, music and lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein. Andrea Simakis, cleveland.com, "‘Come From Away’ lands its irresistible, life-affirming message about the joys of welcoming strangers," 12 July 2019 The name itself was adopted from the John Lennon Wall in Prague, a place where Czech youth expressed their political thoughts through graffiti and Beatles lyrics. Isabella Steger, Quartz, "Post-it notes are the new weapon of choice for Hong Kong’s protesters," 9 July 2019 Minaj, who is known for her provocative dance moves and lyrics, would be performing in front of female fans who are expected to wear modest full-length robes known as an abaya. Rosy Cordero, EW.com, "Nicki Minaj cancels Saudi Arabia concert 'after careful reflection'," 9 July 2019 The compositions infused traditional Brazilian beats with American pop and jazz sensibility kitted out with flutes, saxophones and breathy vocalists singing nuanced lyrics. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Bossa Nova Became a Turning Point in Brazilian Culture. João Gilberto Helped Launch It," 8 July 2019 The song, with lyrics about not taking a romantic partner for granted, is that eternal. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al.com, "Shoals songwriting icon talks Aretha, royalty checks," 8 July 2019 It was recorded by a diverse group of musicians, including Al Hirt, Chet Atkins, the Bob Crewe Generation, and (with lyrics added) Andy Williams. BostonGlobe.com, "Sid Ramin, whose Roxbury friendship with Leonard Bernstein scaled music’s heights, dies at 100," 8 July 2019 It was recorded by a diverse group of musicians, including Al Hirt, Chet Atkins, the Bob Crewe Generation and (with lyrics added) Andy Williams. Anita Gates, New York Times, "Sid Ramin, ‘West Side Story’ Orchestrator and a Composer, Dies at 100," 5 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Charnin launched his lyric writing career off-Broadway, wrote lyrics for cabaret shows and revues and produced shows featuring such performers as Dionne Warwick and Leslie Uggams. Suzy Evans, The Hollywood Reporter, "Martin Charnin, Tony-Winning Creator of 'Annie,' Dies at 84," 7 July 2019 The book is at its best when tracing the lyric and sonic collages of art rock and its offshoots to Burroughs’s groundbreaking use of literary cut-ups — the snipping and reassembling of texts to form new texts. Alexander C. Kafka, Houston Chronicle, "How David Bowie, Jimmy Page, Patti Smith and other musicians fell for William S. Burroughs," 29 June 2019 Jason Mudd from Yes Louisville, a creative content and marketing agency, helped put together the lyric video that was released online this week. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "Nappy Roots rapper writes defiant song about Louisville's 2013 NCAA title," 26 June 2019 Does this show have any Maryland connections? The show quotes a lyric written by former Baltimorean Tupac Shakur. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Here comes 'Hamilton': What you need know about the musical coming to Baltimore that took over the world," 21 June 2019 The lyric references Wilson's relationship with Hanks, her husband of 31 years. Victoria Albert, CBS News, "Rita Wilson on her pivot from acting to "beautiful musical intercourse"," 19 June 2019 The lyric video has scored 78,000 views on YouTube. Steven Zeitchik, Washington Post, "How Bruce Hornsby’s new album suggests everything that’s wrong — and right — with the modern music business," 15 June 2019 Swift also released a colorful lyric video to match the new song on YouTube late Thursday — appropriately during Pride Month. Mesfin Fekadu, chicagotribune.com, "Taylor Swift calls out homophobes on new song, announces 7th album," 14 June 2019 Swift also released a colorful lyric video to match the new song on YouTube late Thursday — appropriately during Pride Month. Mesfin Fekadu, BostonGlobe.com, "Taylor Swift calls out homophobes on new song, announces 7th album," 14 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lyric.' 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 lyric

Noun

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1567, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for lyric

Adjective

Middle French or Latin; Middle French lyrique, from Latin lyricus, from Greek lyrikos, from lyra

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lyric

Listen to Our Podcast about lyric

Statistics for lyric

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lyric

The first known use of lyric was in 1567

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lyric

lyric

noun

English Language Learners Definition of lyric

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the words of a song
: a poem that expresses deep personal feelings in a way that is like a song : a lyric poem

lyric

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of lyric (Entry 2 of 2)

: expressing deep feelings in a way that is like a song
: writing lyric poetry
of an opera singer : having a light and pure voice

lyric

noun
lyr·​ic | \ ˈlir-ik How to pronounce lyric (audio) \

Kids Definition of lyric

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the words of a song often used in pl.
2 : a poem that expresses feelings in a way that is like a song

lyric

adjective

Kids Definition of lyric (Entry 2 of 2)

: expressing personal emotion in a way that is like a song lyric poetry

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on lyric

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lyric

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lyric

Spanish Central: Translation of lyric

Nglish: Translation of lyric for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lyric for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about lyric

Comments on lyric

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

WORD OF THE DAY

appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!