torch song

noun

Definition of torch song

: a popular sentimental song of unrequited love

Examples of torch song in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Four bars later, Debussy falls back on a stark E-minor chord that has a vaguely medieval quality, as if this torch song of the future were being performed in a cold room in an ancient castle. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Víkingur Ólafsson, Liza Lim, and a Surge of Streaming in Quarantine," 27 Apr. 2020 He's recorded two albums as Conchita Wurst, both collections of sweeping pop and orchestral torch songs reminiscent of Shirley Bassey and Neuwirth's idol, Celine Dion. John Russell, Billboard, "Conchita Wurst on the Importance of Stonewall to Europe and Feeling 'Recharged' After Pride," 2 July 2019 Her vocals are low and performed in the ‘50s and ‘60s crooner style on several songs, giving them a torch song vibe that is rarely heard in pop today but would be familiar to fans of Julie London, Peggy Lee, or Shirley Horn. Courtney E. Smith, refinery29.com, "Taylor Swift Knows Lover Is All You Need," 24 Aug. 2019 Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's 1970 rock opera about the last days of the Messiah's life was nominated for five Tony Awards and spawned a top 40 hit in I Don't Know How to Love Him, Mary Magdalene's torch song. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "NBC brings back 'Jesus Christ Superstar' for John Legend's live musical," 29 Mar. 2018 On this bleak torch song from Dangerous Woman, Gray plays Grande’s conscience, begging her to walk away from a toxic lover. Richard S. He, Billboard, "Every Ariana Grande Song, Ranked," 27 Apr. 2018 Any song, in her voice, turns into a torch song — mature, elegant, restrained, swollen with pathos — made for candlelit stages and a body splayed across a piano, like Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys, except vocally talented. Allison P. Davis, The Cut, "Jorja Smith Hopes She Isn’t Boring You," 7 June 2018 Adele deconstructs the 1989 Cure classic and turns it into a Latin-tinged torch song. Chuck Arnold, Billboard, "Every Adele Song Ranked: Critic's Picks," 4 May 2018 Ere long a torch song singer was crooning some Jazz Age hits and the dance floor was crowded with flappers in fringed black shimmy frocks and their tuxedoed swains, giving us full-on Chicago in New York. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Hamish Bowles Goes Inside Dolce & Gabbana’s Alta Moda and Sartoria Events in New York City," 9 Apr. 2018

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

1930, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for torch song

from the phrase to carry a torch for (to be in love)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about torch song

Time Traveler for torch song

Time Traveler

The first known use of torch song was in 1930

See more words from the same year

Statistics for torch song

Last Updated

6 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Torch song.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/torch%20song. Accessed 6 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for torch song

torch song

noun

English Language Learners Definition of torch song

: a very sad or sentimental song about love and romance

More from Merriam-Webster on torch song

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for torch song

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with torch song

Comments on torch song

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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