so·​na·​ta sə-ˈnä-tə How to pronounce sonata (audio)
: 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 sound of gut strings on McIntosh’s violin played without vibrato, for instance, had the florescence that Stravinsky so enjoyed in the Bach sonata. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 3 July 2024 He’s credited with 722 individual works, including symphonies, sonatas, and choral music — creations that pushed the boundaries of composition and performance, and helped usher in the Romantic era of music. Ari Daniel, NPR, 27 June 2024 Recorder player Trevor Stewart will be highlighted in a concerto gross by Vivaldi and a sonata by Telemann. Patrick Neas, Kansas City Star, 21 June 2024 Uchida invited old friends, the Brentano String Quartet (Uchida once made a recording of Mozart sonatas for keyboard and violin with its leader, Mark Steinberg). Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 12 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for sonata 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sonata.' 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 sonare to sound, from Latin

First Known Use

1786, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sonata was in 1786

Dictionary Entries Near sonata

Cite this Entry

“Sonata.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


so·​na·​ta sə-ˈnät-ə How to pronounce sonata (audio)
: a piece of music written for instruments and usually having three or four main parts in different styles and different keys

Medical Definition


So·​na·​ta sō-ˈnä-tə How to pronounce Sonata (audio)
used for a preparation of zaleplon

More from Merriam-Webster on sonata

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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