mu·​sic ˈmyü-zik How to pronounce music (audio)
often attributive
: vocal, instrumental, or mechanical sounds having rhythm, melody, or harmony
choral music
piano music
recorded music
: 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
: a distinctive type or category of music
there is a music for everybodyEric Salzman
rock music
jazz music
classical music
: a musical accompaniment
a play set to music
: the score (see score entry 1 sense 6a) of a musical composition set down on paper
leafing through the music
: musical quality
the music of verse
the music of lovingly orchestrated wordsSaturday Review
: an agreeable sound : euphony
her voice was music to my ears
the music of a nightingale

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Gabai, 25, a resident of Yokneam, was working at the Supernova music festival near Kibbutz Re’im on the day of the attack. NBC News, 23 Nov. 2023 The song was a huge hit for Ellis-Bextor, peaking at No. 2 on the U.K. music charts and becoming a worldwide top ten hit. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 22 Nov. 2023 The four members had recently been working on solo music. Tomás Mier, Rolling Stone, 22 Nov. 2023 The Faroese are so enthusiastic about music that the islands, despite having a population of just 56,000, have a music school in the capital of Torshavn and a full symphony orchestra. Melissa Locker, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Nov. 2023 Our music exports like Avicii, Swedish house Mafia, Alesso, Kygo etc. were in their prime time. Laird Borrelli-Persson, Vogue, 21 Nov. 2023 This alternated with a jangly violin solo strummed like a balalaika by concertmaster Jeff Thayer, interjected with woodwind and trombone laughing music. Christian Hertzog, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Nov. 2023 The employee get togethers saw music artists like Busta Rhymes, Lorde and Bastille featured as headline acts. Byorianna Rosa Royle, Fortune, 21 Nov. 2023 Spotify’s decision to count functional content at 20% of the rate for music tracks is the culmination of nearly a year’s worth of bad press for rain sounds and the like. Elias Leight, Billboard, 21 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'music.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near music

Cite this Entry

“Music.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


mu·​sic ˈmyü-zik How to pronounce music (audio)
: the art of producing pleasing or expressive combinations of tones especially with melody, rhythm, and usually harmony
: a musical composition set down on paper
bring your music
: sounds that have rhythm, harmony, and melody
: an agreeable sound
the music of a brook

Middle English musik "music," from early French musike (same meaning), from Latin musica (same meaning), from Greek mousikē "any art under the control or guidance of the Muses," derived from Mousa "Muse" — related to museum see Word History at museum

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