sym·pho·ny | \ˈsim(p)-fə-nē \
plural symphonies

Definition of symphony 

1 : consonance of sounds

2a : ritornello sense 1

b : sinfonia sense 1

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)

4a : symphony orchestra

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

During Harth-Bedoya's tenure, the symphony played Carnegie Hall in 2008 and the Kennedy Center in Washington this year. Robert Philpot, star-telegram, "FWSO conductor Harth-Bedoya to step down as music director in 2020 | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 10 May 2018 The strings were the beating heart of the symphony, led by concertmaster Martin Chalifour, who delivered several rending, expressively nuanced solos. Zoë Madonna,, "Los Angeles Philharmonic splashes down at Symphony Hall," 26 Apr. 2018 The 1937 Shostakovich symphony, a product of another age of anxiety, was memorably delivered a few years ago by Alsop and the BSO. Tim Smith,, "BSO, Alsop wrap up season with meaty American, Russian program," 8 June 2018 The symphonies, as were the concertos for piano and cello that Dudamel paired with them, were relatively late works, written between 1841 and 1851. Mark Swed,, "Dudamel untangles the strangeness of Schumann's symphonies," 29 May 2018 But, the college will also bring some symphonies, ballets, Big Band and jazz, Cajun and Calypso. Daniel Caton - Special To The Observer Editorial Board, charlotteobserver, "Welcome to Harvard, wherever you are | Charlotte Observer," 4 May 2018 According to its website, the troupe aims to bring in new audiences to symphonies. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "Contortionists and strong men are part of the Indianapolis Symphony's new season," 1 Mar. 2018 Fiorella Terenzi, a professor of physics and astronomy at Florida International University, has spent three decades capturing the strange, spooky symphony of the cosmos. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Meet the Astronomer Who Listens to the Music of the Cosmos," 12 May 2015 Everything is walk-able: a ballgame at Petco Park, the opera at the Civic Center, the symphony at Symphony Hall or Embarcadero Park South, the huge variety of restaurants and clubs from East Village to Little Italy and points between. Lisa Deaderick,, "Leading a local council to teach people about the world around them," 14 July 2018

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

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Statistics for symphony

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for symphony

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

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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 \
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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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

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a state of commotion or excitement

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