opus

play
noun \ˈō-pəs\

Definition of opus

plural

opera

play \ˈō-pə-rə, ˈä-\ also

opuses

play \ˈō-pə-səz\
  1. :  work; especially :  a musical composition or set of compositions usually numbered in the order of its issue

Examples of opus in a Sentence

  1. the composer's final opus was performed posthumously to great acclaim

Recent Examples of opus from the Web

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

Did You Know?

A literary opus is often a single novel, though the word may sometimes refer to all of a writer's works. But opus normally is used for musical works. Mendelssohn's Opus 90 is his Italian Symphony, for example, and Brahms's Op. 77 is his Violin Concerto. Since many composers' works were never given opus numbers in an orderly way, they now often have catalog numbers assigned by later scholars. So Haydn's Symphony No. 104 is Hob.104 (Hob. is short for Anthony van Hoboken, the cataloger), and Mozart's Marriage of Figaro is K.492 (K. stands for Ludwig Köchel).

Origin and Etymology of opus

Latin oper-, opus — more at operate




OPUS Defined for English Language Learners

opus

play
noun

Definition of opus for English Language Learners

  • : a piece of music written by a major composer

  • : an important work done by a writer, painter, etc.



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

sad or melancholy

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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