so·​na·​ta | \ sə-ˈnä-tə How to pronounce sonata (audio) \

Definition of sonata

: an instrumental musical composition typically of three or four movements in contrasting forms and keys

Examples of sonata in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The third sonata is the first time historically where there is a truly equal partnership between the cello and the piano. Beth Wood, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 May 2022 Yet the cello sonata shows his concurrent predilection for conservative neoclassicism. San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Apr. 2022 The programming trajectory of the first half of the evening from teacher to student was reversed in the second half, beginning with Karen Khachaturian’s cello sonata from 1966. San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Apr. 2022 With sonata forms for the first and last movements, a second movement Adagio and a Scherzo for the third movement, its structure is conventional. San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Feb. 2022 Haydn’s music was quite accessible, Bengtson said, but the piece Huydts wrote based on a Haydn sonata is very difficult. Sheryl Devore,, 16 Feb. 2022 Debussy wasn’t the first to combine those instruments, but his sonata was the first memorable work for that ensemble. San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Jan. 2022 Each half of the program began with a Bach violin sonata (the third at the beginning, the first after intermission). Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 16 Nov. 2021 At the moment, researchers are a long way from playing a convincing sonata. Adam Rogers, Wired, 24 Nov. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of sonata

1786, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sonata

Italian, from sonare to sound, from Latin

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Dictionary Entries Near sonata



sonata-allegro form

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Statistics for sonata

Last Updated

26 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sonata.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for sonata


so·​na·​ta | \ sə-ˈnä-tə How to pronounce sonata (audio) \

Kids Definition of sonata

: a musical composition for one or two instruments consisting of three or four separate sections in different forms and keys


So·​na·​ta | \ sō-ˈnä-tə How to pronounce Sonata (audio) \

Medical Definition of Sonata

used for a preparation of zaleplon

More from Merriam-Webster on sonata

Nglish: Translation of sonata for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about sonata


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