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song

Syllabification: song
Pronunciation: /sôNG
 
/

Definition of song in English:

noun

1A short poem or other set of words set to music or meant to be sung.
Example sentences
  • Many households bought parlour pianos and needed music and songs to play and sing.
  • You will be required to sing a short song of your choice and demonstrate your acting skills on the day.
  • She would mention a word and I would have to sing an Elvis song with that word in it.
Synonyms
air, strain, ditty, melody, tune, number, show tune, track, anthem, hymn, chanty, chantey, ballad, aria
informal earworm
1.1Singing or vocal music: the young airmen broke into song
More example sentences
  • Slow music stared, and then Emmet broke into song with his sweet voice.
  • Harvey, who then broke into song and rendered the hymn, Never Get Weary, was quickly accompanied by the congregation.
  • Some of the pan players broke into song, adding flair to the band's rendition as the pan sticks belted down the pulsating rhythms.
1.2A musical composition suggestive of a song.
Example sentences
  • He composed some 700 songs, which makes him one of the most prolific song composers since Schubert.
  • The song has three stanzas of six lines, carrying four stresses downbeats separated by upbeats.
1.3The musical phrases uttered by some birds, whales, and insects, typically forming a recognizable and repeated sequence and used chiefly for territorial defense or for attracting mates.
Example sentences
  • Males attract mates using song, iridescent plumage and dramatic display flights.
  • Learn how to use field marks, habitat, behavior, and song to identify birds.
  • The Winter Wren is a tiny woodland bird whose song is as elaborate as its plumage is drab.
Synonyms
call(s), chirping, cheeping, peeping, chirruping, warble(s), warbling, trilling, twitter;
1.4A poem, especially one in rhymed stanzas: The Song of Hiawatha
More example sentences
  • Pamphilia to Amphilanthus then closes with a series of four songs and nine sonnets.
  • The song of the poet himself will reanimate the memory of Troy and rescue it from the dark tombs.
  • The elegiac sonnet provides this opportunity for the poet, for it literally becomes a song of mourning.
1.5 archaic Poetry.
Example sentences
  • The full text of the lyrical song is as follows.

Origin

Old English sang, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zang and German Sang, also to sing.

More
  • 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

Phrases

for a song

1
informal Very cheaply: the place was going for a song
More example sentences
  • In addition, while many MP3 files can be found cheaply on the Internet, MP3 gadgets don't go for a song.
  • All this excellence, of course, doesn't come for a song.
  • The State went out on its own and did what it wanted to do, which was to take the Indian lands for a song.

on song

2
British informal Performing well: when he is on song, no one can stop him
More example sentences
  • When he is on song, the team is on song and when we are not, he is as good as any of the rest of us when it comes to rolling up his sleeves and trying to dig out a result.
  • When he is on song, he is excellent but when he is below par he can create problems for the rest of the team.
  • Scott Baker, a close-season capture from Carlton, was also on song with 2 for 17, while Ben Rogers top-scored for the home side with 42.

a song and dance

3
North American A long explanation that is pointless or deliberately evasive: Don’t give me a song and dance, Sandy. Yes or no?
More example sentences
  • With nothing to go on but a song and dance from Kelley, most are loathe to give it more than a 7 or 8 share.
  • We all deserve answers, not a song and dance about how hard the police work and how they don't get no respect.
  • It was a song and dance the two frequently engaged in.
chiefly British 3.1 A fuss or commotion: she would be sure to make a song and dance about her aching feet
More example sentences
  • The latest group of entertainers to make a song and dance about their plight are actors, or ‘theatre practitioners’ as they must now be called.
  • They don't make a song and dance about it; they just do it.
  • Annabelle isn't one to make a song and dance about what she's doing, and she would go off doing all sorts of treks and endurance trails.

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