plain·​song ˈplān-ˌsȯŋ How to pronounce plainsong (audio)
: a monophonic rhythmically free liturgical chant of any of various Christian rites
especially : gregorian chant

Examples of plainsong in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As a child, Westerman sang in choirs, and recently found solace in revisiting unaccompanied plainsong as a way of reconnecting with the human voice during long stretches of lockdown isolation. Ryan Leas, Billboard, 5 May 2023 This writing suggests not so much prose as plainsong—timeless, full of deceptive simplicity, and somehow, in its uncanniness, modal, rather than major or minor. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 23 Sep. 2019

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

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of plainsong was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near plainsong

Cite this Entry

“Plainsong.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


plain·​song ˈplān-ˌsȯŋ How to pronounce plainsong (audio)
: a chant of worship sung in various Christian ceremonies

More from Merriam-Webster on plainsong

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