noun, often attributive
mu·​sic | \ ˈmyü-zik How to pronounce music (audio) \

Definition of music

1a : the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity
b : vocal, instrumental, or mechanical sounds having rhythm, melody, or harmony choral music piano music recorded music
2a : an agreeable sound : euphony her voice was music to my ears the music of a nightingale
b : musical quality the music of verse the music of lovingly orchestrated wordsSaturday Review
3 : a musical accompaniment a play set to music
4 : the score (see score entry 1 sense 6a) of a musical composition set down on paper leafing through the music
5 : a distinctive type or category of music there is a music for everybody— Eric Salzman rock music jazz music classical music

Examples of music in a Sentence

This is one of my favorite pieces of music. performing music in front of an audience dancing to the music of a big band They are writing music for a new album. a song with music by George Gershwin and words by Ira Gershwin He is learning to read music. She studied music in college.
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Recent Examples on the Web Phoenix is a thriving patchwork quilt of local music scenes within a scene, producing an astonishing variety of sounds, from punk to hip-hop, straight-up rock 'n' roll, blues, country, jazz and Afrobeat. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, "From Alice Cooper to cocktails and sunsets, here's why we're thankful to live in Arizona," 24 Nov. 2020 For years, Fonz had hustled his mixtapes, burning 100 CDs a night, and sold marijuana as a temporary way to make money, but a music career was his long-term plan. Andre Toran, The Courier-Journal, "'Greatest cleanup in West End history': Louisville organizer spearheads holiday restoration," 24 Nov. 2020 For months, the internet has watched in awe and delight as Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and 10-year-old music prodigy Nandi Bushell staged an epic drum battle on social media. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, "With epic flare, Nandi Bushell declares victory over Dave Grohl in drum battle," 23 Nov. 2020 Last year music manager Scooter Braun — who manages Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande — announced that his Ithaca Holdings company had acquired Big Machine Label Group, the home to Swift's first six albums. CBS News, "Taylor Swift takes home third straight artist of the year award at 2020 AMAs," 23 Nov. 2020 During his tenure, Robson recruited a new, diverse generation of senior executives, many from outside the music world, Warner says in a statement. Alexei Barrionuevo, Billboard, "Warner Music Taps Asia Chief to Run International Operations," 23 Nov. 2020 This year’s ceremony featured several new categories, including new rap and hip-hop honors and several new awards for Latin music. Gary Dinges, USA TODAY, "American Music Awards 2020: The winners list," 23 Nov. 2020 Visit the library, music room or billiard rooms and hear about the decor from the Gilded Age before slipping into the Grand Ballroom for a peek at its opulence. Mary Lou Cruz,, "Calendar: Virtual community, entertainment events beginning Nov. 25," 23 Nov. 2020 Here’s a peppermint, now go listen to some of your music CDs. Georgia Garvey,, "Column: 2020 has been a tough year. If it makes you feel better, it could be, and has been, worse.," 23 Nov. 2020

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for music

Middle English musik, from Anglo-French musike, from Latin musica, from Greek mousikē any art presided over by the Muses, especially music, from feminine of mousikos of the Muses, from Mousa Muse

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Time Traveler for music

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for music

Last Updated

26 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Music.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for music


How to pronounce music (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of music

: sounds that are sung by voices or played on musical instruments
: written or printed symbols showing how music should be played or sung
: the art or skill of creating or performing music


mu·​sic | \ ˈmyü-zik How to pronounce music (audio) \

Kids Definition of music

1 : an arrangement of sounds having melody, rhythm and usually harmony classical music
2 : the art of producing pleasing or expressive combinations of tones especially with melody, rhythm, and usually harmony I want to study music in college.
3 : a musical composition set down on paper Bring your music.
4 : a pleasing sound Your voice is music to my ears.

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More from Merriam-Webster on music

Nglish: Translation of music for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on music

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