Word of the Day : July 2, 2017

dithyramb

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noun DITH-ih-ram

Definition

1 : a usually short poem in an inspired wild irregular strain

2 : a statement or writing in an exalted or enthusiastic vein

Examples

She is working on a scholarly analysis of early Greek dithyrambs.

"His books are immensely entertaining …, but they also are serious examinations of the underside of American society, a large, dangerous and important world that goes entirely unnoticed in the frail dithyrambs emitted by the university creative-writing departments." — Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post, 4 Dec. 2005



Did You Know?

In ancient Greece, the wine god Dionysus (or Bacchus) was feted several times throughout the year. Processions, feasts, dances, and dramatic performances, accompanied by poems recited or sung in the god's honor, were all part of the revelry. Not too surprisingly, the poems tended to be wild, irregular, and dissonant. We know that the Greeks used dithyrambos as the word for a poem in honor of Dionysus, but beyond that the origin of the word is unknown. The ancient Greeks also had an adjective, dithyrambikos, which gave us our adjective dithyrambic, meaning "pertaining to or resembling a dithyramb."



Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to complete a word that refers to an expression of enthusiastic praise: e _ co _ i _ _.

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