lyrical

adjective

lyr·​i·​cal ˈlir-i-kəl How to pronounce lyrical (audio)
1
: having an artistically beautiful or expressive quality suggestive of song
a lyrical film
a lyrical account of New York City in the late 1960s
… a book by the Japanese artist Rinko Kawauchi, who makes lyrical pictures of nature and domestic life.Chris Wiley
2
: of or relating to song lyrics
The album was praised for raw lyrical content about the transformative power of heartbreak …Nola Ojomu
He [Clarence Clemons] crams his short sequence with notes, as though mimicking the Boss' word-heavy lyrical style, his sax embodying the promise of escape and freedom more than anything else in the song.Stephen M. Deusner
lyrically adverb
Lyrically, the title track sums up the carpe diem theme the band hopes listeners get out of this album … Margaret Coble
The book opens with an interview given to Hugo Vansitart by Eleanor Darcy … in which she, defining love, waffles lyrically and at length about love's effects rather than its nature. Shena Mackay
lyricalness noun
[Cellist Lynn] Harrell's ease of technique had a lot to do with it, and an elusive quality predominated—sometimes impish, but more often dark—as energetic bursts gave way to dreamy lyricalness. Therese Sutherland

Did you know?

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 mid-late 1500s, it too referred to things pertaining or adapted to the lyre. It initially described poets, emotionally expressive poetic forms (such as elegies, odes, or sonnets), or works meant to be sung. Two lexical developments came soon after: lyric gained noun use as a term for a lyric composition or poem, and lyrical was adopted as an alternate adjective form. Lyrical is now the more common adjective; it’s used broadly to describe writing or other creative works that have an artistically beautiful or expressive quality. Meanwhile, in modern use lyric is most familiar in its plural noun form—a song's lyrics are its words. In other uses lyric is a technical term limited mostly to poetry (a lyric poet writes lyric poems, i.e., poems that express direct emotion) and opera (many opera companies use the word in their names, and a lyric soprano has a light voice and melodic style).

Examples of lyrical in a Sentence

She is noted for her lyrical moviemaking style. a painter known for his lyrical landscapes a lyrical account of frontier life
Recent Examples on the Web Barry’s other main trademark trope is his lyrical prose. Malcolm Forbes, Washington Post, 7 July 2024 Yasiin Bey and Method Man also pop up as special guests for lyrical sparring sessions throughout the 47-minute expedition. Michael Saponara, Billboard, 5 July 2024 Mann’s music is a testament to his faith and his ability to connect with audiences through his lyrical honesty and musical versatility. Ascend Agency, New York Daily News, 3 July 2024 In the composer’s grand lyrical phrases, the orchestra seemed to say, with profound expression, Read our collective hearts. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 27 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for lyrical 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lyrical.' 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

1528, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of lyrical was in 1528

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Cite this Entry

“Lyrical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lyrical. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

lyrical

adjective
lyr·​i·​cal ˈlir-i-kəl How to pronounce lyrical (audio)
lyrically adverb

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