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



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

Synonyms & Antonyms for lyric

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 express strong emotion, to poets who write such works, or to things 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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And for those who simply enjoy taking in the sights, there are quote and song lyric captions that help capture the natural beauty that beaches offer. Samantha Lawyer, Woman's Day, 20 May 2022 The package features a CD, a hardcover binder, a photo booklet with a set of 24 pictures that are unique to each band member, a photocard, digipak, and a lyric book. Jasmine Washington, Seventeen, 20 May 2022 In the new role, Libran will oversee the creation, production and distribution of visual content for artists on Republic's roster, including visualizers and music, lyric and performance videos. Ej Panaligan, Billboard, 5 Nov. 2021 What started as a cute way to connect with her fans by leaving hidden messages in the lyric booklets of her albums has developed into a full-scale operation. Danielle Pascual, Billboard, 9 May 2022 Bands currently have very few outlets for their creativity: lyric videos, mp3s, black T-shirts and endless touring. Goldie Chan, Forbes, 2 May 2022 The only thing more life-affirming than that lyric is the soaring guitar lead that brings the song to a glorious crescendo. Ed Masley, The Arizona Republic, 1 May 2022 As a lyric-maker and performer for over a decade, Long looked within and altered the direction of her music career. ELLE, 12 Apr. 2022 Paul remembers winning an American Music Award for the track, filming the music video in Toronto and recording the one lyric that everyone gets wrong. Rolling Stone, 29 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The single is accompanied by a lyric video showcasing the band members’ family photo albums which adds to the nostalgic nature of the track. Grace Ann Natanawan, SPIN, 13 Apr. 2022 According to LyricFind, the song logged a 26,483% blast in lyric views and usages following Meat Loaf’s death. Kevin Rutherford, Billboard, 25 Jan. 2022 The song arrives with a lyric video that finds the roguish trio shooting pool in Nashville, driving around in a convertible, and ultimately floating on clear-blue waters on a boat. Joseph Hudak, Rolling Stone, 4 Mar. 2022 Six songs from her catalog, including the new single, reach the list with lyric usage and search gains. Kevin Rutherford, Billboard, 21 Oct. 2021 Mitchell was the daughter of a lyric poet and editor at the journal Poetry. Jonathon Keats, Forbes, 7 Oct. 2021 Cash will present, curate, and moderate lectures, discussions, workshops, performances, and classroom visits throughout the academic year, including a lyric workshop. Michele Amabile Angermiller, Variety, 5 Oct. 2021 Tape outlines a quadrangle on the floor and the full company walks that perimeter, framing couples who take turns in lyric flights through the center, one dancer often carrying another who is upside down. New York Times, 26 Sep. 2021 In my country, whose weather blows lyric one way and satire another, the English language is always precise, every mot juste, and anyone can visit who wants to. Ange Mlinko, The New York Review of Books, 19 Nov. 2020 See More

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.

First Known Use of lyric


1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1567, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for lyric


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

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lyre turtle



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Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lyric.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for lyric


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



Kids Definition of lyric (Entry 2 of 2)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on lyric

Nglish: Translation of lyric for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lyric for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about lyric


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