rhap·​so·​dy ˈrap-sə-dē How to pronounce rhapsody (audio)
plural rhapsodies
: a portion of an epic poem adapted for recitation
archaic : a miscellaneous collection
: a highly emotional utterance
: a highly emotional literary work
: effusively rapturous or extravagant discourse
: a musical composition of irregular form having an improvisatory character

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 Starting in September, the ensemble will perform three popular movie scores, concerti and several takes on rhapsodies — including Gershwin's famous one and a fusion of of his work with Queen. The Indianapolis Star, 20 Feb. 2024 Their meeting was almost poetic, a confluence of basketball eras, a rhapsody in sneakers. Helene Elliott, Los Angeles Times, 24 Feb. 2024 Composed of rhapsody and opinionation, without shape or chronology, Roger Lewis’s biography of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton tries to get at the strangeness of stardom. Frances Wilson, The New York Review of Books, 29 Feb. 2024 To watch Chita Rivera in her prime was to experience the rhapsody of theatricality in motion. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 31 Jan. 2024 Amid the arcana, Liszt was still writing Hungarian rhapsodies, not to mention arrangements of polkas by Smetana and other salon-ready fare. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 4 Sep. 2023 Call it a rhapsody in red. Manyin Li, National Review, 7 Mar. 2021 That earlier outing was a haute bohemian rhapsody. Laird Borrelli-Persson, Vogue, 28 Nov. 2020 Wang recently made news by playing the four concertos and rhapsody in a marathon at New York’s Carnegie Hall, with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who is also music director of the Metropolitan Opera. Los Angeles Times, 15 Feb. 2023

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1542, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of rhapsody was in 1542

Dictionary Entries Near rhapsody

Cite this Entry

“Rhapsody.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rhapsody. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


rhap·​so·​dy ˈrap-səd-ē How to pronounce rhapsody (audio)
plural rhapsodies
: a written or spoken expression of great emotion
: a musical composition of irregular form
also rhapsodical

More from Merriam-Webster on rhapsody

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