sym·​pho·​ny ˈsim(p)-fə-nē How to pronounce symphony (audio)
plural symphonies
: consonance of sounds
: a usually long and complex sonata for symphony orchestra
: a musical composition (as for organ) resembling such a symphony in complexity or variety
: consonance or harmony of color (as in a painting)
: a symphony orchestra concert
: something that in its harmonious complexity or variety suggests a symphonic composition
a symphony of flavors

Example Sentences

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 Correspondent Conor Knighton looks at how the field of video game music has exploded, with symphony concerts of video game music. David Morgan, CBS News, 3 Feb. 2023 Wittgenstein was also a virtuoso whistler, and could whistle perfectly whole symphony movements. New York Times, 19 Jan. 2023 The result is an abstract symphony that contains his deepest and most enduring last thoughts. Los Angeles Times, 19 Jan. 2023 Donald Appert conducts the nearly 70-member symphony in its winter concert. oregonlive, 18 Jan. 2023 In the film, Blanchett’s character is preparing to record the famous Mahler symphony and is seen rehearsing it with the Dresden Philharmonic. Jon Burlingame, Variety, 9 Jan. 2023 There was, in her telling, no world-class opera, ballet company, or pedigreed symphony to speak of. Hillary Kelly, The New Republic, 4 Jan. 2023 Houston is one of only five cities in the United States with permanent professional resident companies in all of the major disciplines: ballet, opera, symphony and theater productions. Sean Watson, Chron, 7 Dec. 2022 The school, which is predominately made up of Latino students, partners with the DSO to provide children with free private and group lessons from symphony musicians. Dallas News, 23 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near symphony

Cite this Entry

“Symphony.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


sym·​pho·​ny ˈsim(p)-fə-nē How to pronounce symphony (audio)
plural symphonies
: harmonious arrangement (as of sound or color)
a symphony of sounds in the forest
: a usually long musical composition for a full orchestra

More from Merriam-Webster on symphony

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