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

air, lay, song, strain, tune, warble

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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

Like in the previous version, a cool and fading steel guitar compliments the rhythmic melody and calming percussion. Fox News, "Stevie Nicks and LeAnn Rimes share heartbreak in 'Borrowed' duet," 16 July 2018 The musician is a master at matters of the heart, crooning about the euphoria of new romance backed up with her ethereal melodies and punctuated with beats that will get any listener on their feet grooving. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "LÉON's Dreamy Ballads and Bright Bops Will Give You All the Feels," 26 Apr. 2019 Writing vocal hooks, especially melodies for all my songs, is my favorite thing to do. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sigrid Plans to Be Around for a Long Time," 11 Mar. 2019 This was no quiet moment between two lovers, no melody simply whispered in the other’s ear. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Justin Bieber Is the Ultimate Romantic Serenader," 3 Jan. 2019 The group of friends began playing together around 2008, pulling from pan-African sounds as well as pop and blues melodies. Hannah Steinkopf-frank, RedEye Chicago, "5 must-see concerts in Chicago this week: the Suffers, Allman Brown and the Breeders," 3 May 2018 There is some voice-over but little dialogue in an ebb-and-flow soundtrack that alternates wailing folk melodies with choral chanting. New York Times, "In ‘The Color of Pomegranates,’ the Cinema of the Cryptic," 24 May 2018 There is no melody in the third piece; the focus is a series of chords with shifting orchestrations. Christian Hertzog, sandiegouniontribune.com, "La Jolla Symphony and Sameer Patel delight with 20th century masterpieces," 7 May 2018 The piece is based on a melody from Medieval composer Hildegard von Bingen, which is gradually introduced and developed as the music builds to a final dramatic fanfare. Jessica Rudman, courant.com, "HSO's Celebration Of American Composers An Exciting Romp," 7 Apr. 2018

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

20 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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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