melody

noun
mel·​o·​dy | \ ˈme-lə-dē How to pronounce melody (audio) \
plural melodies

Definition of melody

1 : a sweet or agreeable succession or arrangement of sounds whilst all the winds with melody are ringing— P. B. Shelley
2 : a rhythmic succession of single tones organized as an aesthetic whole a hummable melody the piper's fingers play the melody on a pipe called a chanter— Pat Cahill

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Other Words from melody

melodic \ mə-​ˈlä-​dik How to pronounce melodic (audio) \ adjective
melodically \ mə-​ˈlä-​di-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce melodically (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for melody

Synonyms

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Examples of melody in a Sentence

He wrote a piece that includes some beautiful melodies. a composer known for his love of melody He sang a few old-fashioned melodies.
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Recent Examples on the Web Fielding a request to do a spontaneous piece, Wheaton starts with an up-tempo, plinking line of notes, adds a brisk allegro melody that plays in syncopation against it, and finally pipes in a series of cascading arpeggios. Rand Richards Cooper, courant.com, "In Our Midst: Gabriel Wheaton’s classical, contemporary, opulent and wildly eclectic one-man band," 15 Nov. 2019 The melody is full of heartbreak, loss and regret, but the song is too beautiful to be entirely melancholy. New York Times, "‘Marriage Story’ Review: Dance Me to the End of Love," 5 Nov. 2019 There is a high level of dissonance between the chromatically descending guitar line and the vocal, which is not a melody exactly, but a series of monotonic, almost unrelated pitches that clash with the accompaniment. Rosy Cordero, EW.com, "Nine Inch Nails, Pixies, Nirvana land on surprising top 10 scariest songs of all time list," 31 Oct. 2019 When discussing her philosophy at the pageant in 2018, Novak said her life had been like a melody. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "Gayle Novak, 2018 Ms. Senior America, philanthropist and restaurateur, dies in her Englewood home," 29 Oct. 2019 Besides, while heard melodies are sweet, those never heard before can be even sweeter, albeit sometimes a bit loud or strangely syncopated. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, "A celebration of the outsiders and outcasts who have made music great," 16 Oct. 2019 But composer John Lunn’s now-iconic melody wasn’t initially intended to serve as the title sequence. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "The Fascinating Story Behind Downton Abbey’s Iconic Theme Song," 22 Sep. 2019 Harding also says the songs are in different keys and BPMs (beats per minute), and that the melodies are not the same notes. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "A jury said Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” copied another song. The $2.8 million verdict is alarming.," 2 Aug. 2019 For my music, my aspirations are for things to get deeper and smarter, and if the melodies can still be beautiful then that's a cherry on top for sure. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lana Del Rey Is Drinking Wheat Grass, Taking Spin Classes, Being Extra, and Loving It," 7 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'melody.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of melody

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for melody

Middle English melodie, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin melodia, from Greek melōidia chanting, music, from melos limb, musical phrase, song (probably akin to Breton mell joint) + aeidein to sing — more at ode

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Statistics for melody

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for melody

The first known use of melody was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for melody

melody

noun
How to pronounce melody (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of melody

: a pleasing series of musical notes that form the main part of a song or piece of music
: a song or tune

melody

noun
mel·​o·​dy | \ ˈme-lə-dē How to pronounce melody (audio) \
plural melodies

Kids Definition of melody

1 : pleasing arrangement of sounds
2 : a series of musical notes or tones arranged in a definite pattern of pitch and rhythm
3 : the main part in a musical composition

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Comments on melody

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