sym·​pho·​ny | \ ˈsim(p)-fə-nē How to pronounce symphony (audio) \
plural symphonies

Definition of symphony

1 : consonance of sounds
c(1) : a usually long and complex sonata for symphony orchestra
(2) : a musical composition (as for organ) resembling such a symphony in complexity or variety
3 : consonance or harmony of color (as in a painting)
b : a symphony orchestra concert
5 : something that in its harmonious complexity or variety suggests a symphonic composition a symphony of flavors

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Examples of symphony in a Sentence

the satisfying symphony of color in Renoir's canvases a performance of a Bach concerto by the San Antonio Symphony
Recent Examples on the Web But the absence of other sounds is an opportunity to remember that the world around us is playing a continual symphony. Helen Czerski, WSJ, "The Complex Music of Car Tires," 25 June 2020 Texas heat also curtails the outdoor options of the symphony. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "Greg Abbott has given performing artists a green light, but returning from pandemic will require baby steps.," 8 June 2020 Two professional brass ensembles from the symphony will perform Dixieland jazz and patriotic tunes throughout the University Hills and Alto Vista neighborhoods. Sarah Bahari, Dallas News, "Irving symphony to perform mobile concert from flatbed trucks," 8 June 2020 The symphony has raised more than $129 million to transform a former downtown movie theater into the new concert hall. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Key downtown buildings sustain millions of dollars in damage from We Energies steam tunnel floods," 3 June 2020 Videos from both projects can be found on the symphony’s Facebook page, @sasymphony. Deborah Martin,, "San Antonio Symphony musicians eager to move beyond virtual performances," 2 June 2020 The symphony is working with artists on rescheduled dates for 2021. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis Symphony cancels Symphony on the Prairie and all summer concerts," 4 May 2020 The symphony had been rehearsing Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 for its upcoming shows when the governor’s news conference announcing regulations on group gatherings began. Brooke Jarvis, New York Times, "Livestreaming the Seattle Symphony Became a Source of Connection in Dark Times," 24 Mar. 2020 Jim Ward’s ‘interim’ run turned into 8 years Like most arts organizations in the years following the 2007-08 crash, the symphony was in financial trouble when Ward came on board. Kerry Lengel, azcentral, "Phoenix Symphony’s new CEO, Suzanne Wilson, is all about arts education," 1 Jan. 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for symphony

Middle English symphonie, from Middle French, from Latin symphonia, from Greek symphōnia, from symphōnos concordant in sound, from syn- + phōnē voice, sound — more at ban entry 1

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Time Traveler for symphony

Time Traveler

The first known use of symphony was in the 15th century

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Statistics for symphony

Last Updated

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Symphony.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for symphony


How to pronounce symphony (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of symphony

: a long piece of music that is usually in four large, separate sections and that is performed by an orchestra


sym·​pho·​ny | \ ˈsim-fə-nē How to pronounce symphony (audio) \
plural symphonies

Kids Definition of symphony

1 : a usually long musical composition for a full orchestra
2 : a large orchestra of wind, string, and percussion instruments
3 : harmonious arrangement (as of sound or color)

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