Definition of rhapsody in English:


Syllabification: rhap·so·dy
Pronunciation: /ˈrapsədē

noun (plural rhapsodies)

  • 1An effusively enthusiastic or ecstatic expression of feeling: rhapsodies of praise
    More example sentences
    • A few notes from the rhapsody of praise composed in his honour in his lifetime should be enough to whet new curiosity.
    • The ethos has little in common with that of science fiction; rather, it's a rhapsody on the miraculous benefits the Victorians were expecting their harnessing of electricity to bring to them.
    • A rhapsody of intricate plots emerges and, with luck, hilarity ensues.
  • 1.1 Music A free instrumental composition in one extended movement, typically one that is emotional or exuberant in character.
    More example sentences
    • Wider success came with the orchestral rhapsody España, composed after a visit to Spain in 1882, which remains his best-known work.
    • As in the rhapsody, Hadley's music makes its subject appear with utter clarity in the mind's eye.
    • The strange songs he would sing during his morning shower were a constant source of bemusement to all who had the luxury of hearing his rhapsody.
  • 2(In ancient Greece) an epic poem, or part of it, of a suitable length for recitation at one time.
    More example sentences
    • Write a cycle of business poems - a rhapsody to measurable results.
    • There is more to be found in the rhapsody's orality, in archaisms and the atavistic language, in orality and folklore, in clerical-juggleresque rhetoric.
    • I had translations of the old Mongolian rhapsodies and epodes in English, French, Italian, and German.



Pronunciation: /rapˈsädik/
More example sentences
  • Oddly for a man who pursues sensual things, Saatchi does not share Lawson's rhapsodic appreciation of food.
  • Pelletier readily brings out the sensuous, rhapsodic elements of ‘L' ile joyeuse ’, and captures the jaunty, toccata-like spirit of ‘Masques’.
  • Garance Franke-Ruta brought my attention to a David Brooks column in which he waxes rhapsodic about a phenomenon he calls ‘natalism,’ in which white people move to the suburbs and have babies.


mid 16th century (sense 2): via Latin from Greek rhapsōidia, from rhaptein 'to stitch' + ōidē 'song, ode'.

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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody