rhap·​so·​dy | \ ˈrap-sə-dē How to pronounce rhapsody (audio) \
plural rhapsodies

Definition of rhapsody

1 : a portion of an epic poem adapted for recitation
2 archaic : a miscellaneous collection
3a(1) : a highly emotional utterance
(2) : a highly emotional literary work
(3) : effusively rapturous or extravagant discourse
4 : a musical composition of irregular form having an improvisatory character

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Examples of rhapsody in a Sentence

The mayor launched into a long rhapsody about his plans for the city. listening to Mozart always left him in a rhapsody that lingered for the remainder of the evening
Recent Examples on the Web Following a bellowing sax solo during the sixth movement, the symphony’s brass and strings cascade in lilting rhapsody. Stephen Humphries, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 June 2021 Houellebecq harbors Balzacian ambitions as well as Lovecraftian rhapsodies. Siddhartha Deb, The New Republic, 21 Jan. 2020 Khatia Buniatishvili, a French-Georgian pianist, recalled hearing Ms Argerich’s performance of a Brahms rhapsody in a piece for the New York Times in 2017. E.h., The Economist, 22 Aug. 2019 Which brings Jepsen to an impassioned rhapsody on a favorite hairstyle: the mullet. Brennan Kilbane, Allure, 18 July 2019 This generally tranquil, pastoral rhapsody was sincerely played by the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, with notable contributions from oboist Carol Rothrock and flutist Joey Payton. San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 June 2019 The section on the tablet comes from the Odyssey’s 14th rhapsody, which depicts the hero Odysseus’ adventures after the fall of Troy. Laignee Barron, Time, 11 July 2018 In a show built on rhapsodies of food, the appreciation for his nightmarish toil is notably muted. Kanishk Tharoor, The Atlantic, 10 June 2018 Which brings Jepsen to an impassioned rhapsody on a favorite hairstyle: the mullet. Brennan Kilbane, Allure, 18 July 2019

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

1542, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rhapsody

Latin rhapsodia, from Greek rhapsōidia recitation of selections from epic poetry, rhapsody, from rhapsōidos rhapsodist, from rhaptein to sew, stitch together + aidein to sing — more at ode

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Time Traveler for rhapsody

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The first known use of rhapsody was in 1542

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Last Updated

27 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rhapsody.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rhapsody. Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of rhapsody

: a piece of music that is meant to express a lot of emotion and does not have a regular form
: a written or spoken expression of great enthusiasm, praise, etc.

More from Merriam-Webster on rhapsody

Nglish: Translation of rhapsody for Spanish Speakers


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