lyr·​i·​cism | \ ˈlir-ə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce lyricism (audio) \

Definition of lyricism

1 : the quality or state of being lyric : songfulness
2a : an intense personal quality expressive of feeling or emotion in an art (such as poetry or music)
b : exuberance the sort of author who inspires lyricism or invective, not judicious interpretationTime

Examples of lyricism in a Sentence

the lyricism of his paintings

Recent Examples on the Web

Below the noise and brutally driving rhythms the music seethes with weird effects — queasy lyricism in the strings, sinister grunts from the contrabassoon, trombones and tuba. John Von Rhein,, "Riccardo Muti and Yo-Yo Ma turn up the heat in an all-Russian program," 15 June 2018 The Def Squad member's latest track is expectedly bare-bones, opting for straightforward lyricism and old-school beats instead of flashy gimmicks. Sam Tornow, Billboard, "Redman Drops Preservative-Free New Track & Video 'I Love Hip Hop': Watch," 22 June 2018 Pusha delivers a clear message through his brash lyricism and usual drug fiend raps, which includes a clear start and punctuation mark. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Pusha T & Drake's Feud, Kanye's G.O.O.D. Music Domination, XXXTentacion's Death, 'Scorpion' & More: Recapping a Wild 40 Days in Hip-Hop," 2 July 2018 However, his music evades obvious categorizations, as his piano-centric songs, Sinatra-like baritone and witty lyricism doesn’t cleanly place him in indie rock, modern pop or jazz. Lizzie Manno, Billboard, "Matt Maltese: The Apocalyptic British Singer-Songwriter That America Desperately Needs," 10 July 2018 On Ye and Scorpion, Ty provides respite from Drake and Kanye’s self-centric lyricism, but not all of Dolla’s collaborative efforts are so fraught. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Ty Dolla $ign Isn’t Just a Feature Artist, He’s a Star," 2 July 2018 Meanwhile, Whitman's vocal lines can convey an effusive lyricism as well as turn poignantly intimate. Mark Swed,, "Walt Whitman's operatic America in 'Crossing' gets its West Coast premiere," 27 May 2018 The pervasive lyricism and sense of elegance that defined the piece affirmed that the MJQ ethos still wields influence at this late date. Howard Reich,, "Gregory Porter sounds sumptuous with CSO," 12 June 2018 His compulsion fed a lyricism that separated him from peers. Andy Mccullough,, "The 'Bipolar Rock 'N' Roller' calls some of combat sports' biggest events. But his real fight is against the stigma of mental illness," 23 May 2018

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

1760, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lyricism

Statistics for lyricism

Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lyricism

The first known use of lyricism was in 1760

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lyricism



English Language Learners Definition of lyricism

: a quality that expresses deep feelings or emotions in a work of art : an artistically beautiful or expressive quality

More from Merriam-Webster on lyricism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lyricism

Comments on lyricism

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


to corrupt or become corrupted

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Bee Cubed

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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