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rhapsody Syllabification: rhap·so·dy
Pronunciation: /ˈrapsədē/

Definition of rhapsody in English:

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.
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.
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.


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

  • Rhapsody comes from Greek rhaptein ‘to stitch’, and its earliest sense carries the idea of words woven together. In the 16th century a rhapsody was a long poem, like Homer's Odyssey or Iliad, suitable for recitation. From this developed first the idea of a medley or collection, and then the sense of pleasure and approval expressed with enthusiasm rather than careful thought. The musical sense developed in the late 19th century.



Pronunciation: /rapˈsädik/
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.

Words that rhyme with rhapsody

parody • prosody

Definition of rhapsody in:

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