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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Flint has also hosted Broadway shows, local symphonies, nutcrackers, religious services and college graduations. Thy Vo, The Mercury News, "Photos: Where Steve Jobs introduced the original Apple Macintosh for the first time," 10 July 2019 Other purposes of the cummerbund: as a crumb catcher (really!), a ticket-stub holder when heading to the opera or symphony (for both these reasons, the pleats must face up) and a waist cincher. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Go away from the blue light," 2 July 2019 With all the bird noises in these grasslands, identifying a particular species is like trying to hear a single string in a symphony. Billy Baker,, "‘Bird nerds’ assemble at Mass Audubon’s Bird-a-thon," 4 June 2019 They'll be given away when Joshua Bell performs with the symphony on May 12, 13 and 14. Tom Hallman Jr.,, "Heartfelt lullabies from the shadows: Tom Hallman," 6 May 2018 Sparkling beneath a hundred flashbulbs, Ford’s newest saloon was presented to the world in the central Chinese megacity of Chongqing on Tuesday, in a symphony of polished paintwork and umbrella-twirling dancers. Time, "Beneath the Glitz of a Ford Automobile Launch in China, Fears of a Trade War Remain," 12 Apr. 2018 But in smaller cities across the U.S., there’s a limited pool of people to call on for major gifts to help keep the arts alive—and they get hit up by repertory theaters, the opera, and the symphony, as well as museums. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why All Major Museums Should Be Free," 19 Jan. 2018 Engineers focus on making certain all sensor systems perform like a flawless symphony. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "GM engineer finds escape from self-driving projects in extreme sports," 3 Jan. 2018 The next night, guest conductor Roderick Cox will lead the symphony through a program that includes Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Houston Chronicle, "The Must List: Father John Misty, ‘Speeding Motorcycle’," 28 June 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about symphony

Statistics for symphony

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for symphony

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for symphony



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)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on symphony

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for symphony

Spanish Central: Translation of symphony

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

Comments on symphony

What made you want to look up symphony? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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