Definition of sing in English:

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Pronunciation: /siNG/

verb (past sang /saNG/; past participle sung /səNG/)

1 [no object] Make musical sounds with the voice, especially words with a set tune: Bella sang to the baby
More example sentences
  • And those closing strains die away, and the finale begins, a faint chorus of distant voices singing in unison, the orchestra silent.
  • This opens strikingly with the high voices singing unaccompanied in unison.
  • Make a tape of your own voice talking or singing to the baby.
1.1 [with object] Perform (a song, words, or tune) with the voice: someone started singing “God Bless America” (as noun singing) the singing of hymns in Latin
More example sentences
  • To add to the atmosphere, members of Newport Choir and friends sang carols and Christmas songs under the Christmas Tree.
  • After a couple of songs the members sang ditties from the latest movies.
  • They revived the handbell choir, answering God's invitation to sing a new song.
1.2 (sing along) Sing in accompaniment to a song or piece of music.
Example sentences
  • Usually when I feel depressed, I just listen to music and sing along to the songs.
  • The audience joined in the banter and sang along to musical hall songs.
  • My feel my eyes widen when she sings along to the music in perfect pitch.
1.3 (sing something out) Call something out loudly; shout: he sang out a greeting
More example sentences
  • Is there anything more serious than joy, the dangerous freedom of singing it out?
  • As they neared the quay, youthful voices sang out a greeting.
call (out), cry (out), shout, yell
informal holler
1.4(Of a bird) make characteristic melodious whistling and twittering sounds: the birds were singing in the chestnut trees
More example sentences
  • Like most birds, zebra finches sing as the sun rises.
  • Tall, thick-branched trees surrounded her and there was nothing but the sounds of the birds singing amidst the trees.
  • There are no bombs in this world; the sounds are just of tree growing and birds singing.
warble, trill, chirp, chirrup, cheep, peep
2 [no object] Make a high-pitched whistling or buzzing sound: the kettle was beginning to sing
More example sentences
  • Through the enveloping silence came the sound of the wind singing through the passes.
  • Dad tunes the Kingswood once a month like a classical musician would tune his violin, and the engine sings.
2.1(Of a person’s ear) be affected with a continuous buzzing sound, especially as the aftereffect of a blow or loud noise: a stinging slap that made my ear sing
More example sentences
  • I turned the engine off again and, while my ears sang, I decided that it was perhaps advisable to fit the exhausts after all.
3 [no object] informal Act as an informer to the police: as soon as he got put under pressure, he sang like a canary
More example sentences
  • And she is singing like a canary about the out-of-sync lip synch incident.
inform (on someone), confess
informal squeal, rat on someone, blow the whistle on someone, snitch (on someone), narc (on someone), finger someone, fink on someone
4 [with object] Recount or celebrate in a work of literature, especially poetry: poetry should sing the strangeness and variety of the human race [no object]: these poets sing of the North American experience
More example sentences
  • I have sung of women in three cities, they are all the same.
  • Think of all the things Sinatra ever sang of.
4.1 archaic Compose poetry.
Example sentences
  • He knew Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme.


[in singular] informal
1An act or spell of singing.
Example sentences
  • Film sings have supplanted folk music in the lives of common people.
  • Everyone likes to have a sing - joining a choir of 30+ members is just the next step.
1.1US A meeting for amateur singing.
Example sentences
  • It was toward the end of that job, about fifteen years after leaving the army, that Allie went to a sing at a nearby reservation.



sing a different tune

Change one’s opinion about or attitude toward someone or something.
Example sentences
  • As one who's been at the battlefront, angrily detailing Hollywood's outrages against women for these many years, it's a relief to be singing a different tune and hoping the music lasts.
  • But these days, the businessman mayor is singing a different tune.
  • And he is already singing a different tune on key environmental, defence and foreign affairs issues he once passionately advocated.

sing for one's supper

see supper.

sing the praises of

see praise.

sing someone to sleep

Cause someone to fall asleep by singing gently to them.
Example sentences
  • I'd fallen asleep next my son, as I often sing him to sleep.
  • While in the hospital she visited and spent time with people on the wards, if she heard anyone crying at might she would go to them and sing them to sleep… she had the most wonderful voice.
  • I sing him to sleep most nights, old habit since he was little and I see no reason to change it.



Pronunciation: /ˈsiNGəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • The tunes were perfectly suited for FM Radio, and riddled with major chord-laden hooks, and melodic, singable choruses.
  • Vecchi composed some excellent church music, but his fame rests on his light madrigals and canzonettas, written in an eminently singable and attractive style.
  • It's a great mix of heavy melodies played with soft distortion resulting in big, anthemic songs that are singable without being too poppy.


Example sentences
  • Though undeniably talented, Martin exhibits a hesitant sense of what separates the singingly oral from the stodgily ordinary.
  • The skaldic poetry was presumably recited half singingly and without instrumental accompaniment.
  • They range from singingly chivalric to the unaffected generous, pleasurable additions to the lighter repertoire.


Old English singan (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zingen and German singen.

  • song from Old English:

    The Old English words sing and song are from the same ancient root. The phrase to sing for your supper, ‘to derive a benefit or favour by providing a service in return’, derives from the nursery rhyme Little Tommy Tucker: ‘Little Tommy Tucker / Sings for his supper; / What shall we give him? / White bread and butter.’ If something is on sale for a song it is being sold very cheaply. This expression may come from the old practice of selling written copies of ballads at fairs. You could also say for an old song, perhaps because you would be likely to pay much less for an old ballad sheet than for a recent one. The phrase was popularized in the 1970s when Going for a Song was used as the title of a television quiz show in which teams had to guess the date and value of antiques. If you make a song and dance about something you cause a fuss or commotion or, in American English, give a long explanation that is deliberately misleading or confusing. In 17th-century America a ‘song and dance’ referred to a form of entertainment later applied to a vaudeville act. The modern senses developed around the turn of the 20th century. See also all

Words that rhyme with sing

Beijing, bing, bring, Chungking, cling, ding, dingaling, fling, I Ching, king, Kunming, ling, Ming, Nanjing, Peking, ping, ring, Singh, sling, spring, sting, string, swing, Synge, thing, ting, wing, wring, Xining, zing

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sing

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