plain·​song | \ ˈplān-ˌsȯŋ How to pronounce plainsong (audio) \

Definition of plainsong

: 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 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, "“The Divers’ Game,” Jesse Ball’s Unnerving Parable of a Country That Feigns Innocence," 23 Sep. 2019

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

First Known Use of plainsong

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about plainsong

Time Traveler for plainsong

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for plainsong

Cite this Entry

“Plainsong.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on plainsong

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plainsong Encyclopedia article about plainsong

Comments on plainsong

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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