Definition of rhapsody in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈrapsədi/

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 in character: Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies
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 a poem, 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.



Pronunciation: /rapˈsɒdɪk/
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.


Pronunciation: /rapˈsɒdɪk(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • The rhapsodical panegyric style is barely readable today without a faint sense of unease and suspicion as to what kind of affair it was that made Evelyn quite so determined to spiritualise it after the event.


Pronunciation: /rapˈsɒdɪk(ə)li/
Example sentences
  • International festivals proliferated and ancient bonds were re-established as musicians embraced folk-rock, toured widely and were rhapsodically welcomed.
  • This was not a human/pet relationship, but a friendship, a partnership, perhaps even a kind of love affair: witnesses speak of Maxwell rolling about on the floor with Mij, man mewing rhapsodically to otter.
  • I crawled rhapsodically back into bed and fell into some very vivid and memorable dreams.


Mid 16th century (in 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.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: rhap|sody

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