sin·​fo·​nia ˌsin-fə-ˈnē-ə How to pronounce sinfonia (audio)
plural sinfonie ˌsin-fə-ˈnē-ˌā How to pronounce sinfonia (audio)
: an orchestral prelude to a vocal work (such as an opera) especially in the 18th century : overture

Examples of sinfonia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web An instrumental sinfonia by Giovanni Ferrandini, for example — diminutive in size but rich in brilliant string writing — was a perfect introduction to Ensemble Artaserse’s ability to dart and move, changing direction, articulation and tempo on a dime and in perfect unison. Luke Schulze, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Oct. 2022 Not Wagner but Mozart will accompany the Bruckner at Carnegie Hall, in the form of six piano concertos and two sinfonias concertante. David Allen, New York Times, 13 Jan. 2017

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

Word History


Italian, from Latin symphonia symphony

First Known Use

1773, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sinfonia was in 1773

Dictionary Entries Near sinfonia

Cite this Entry

“Sinfonia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

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