Definition of dithyramb in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdiTHəˌram/


1A wild choral hymn of ancient Greece, especially one dedicated to Dionysus.
Example sentences
  • His Bacco in Toscana, published in 1685, is subtitled ditirambo, the Greek dithyramb being a choral lyric in praise of Dionysus.
  • Plato observes that the types were once distinct: a hymn would not be confused with a dirge, dithyramb, or paean.
  • So theologian Harvey Cox, in his dithyramb on the resurrection of Dionysus, applauded us for ushering in a new age.
1.1A passionate or inflated speech, poem, or other writing.
Example sentences
  • Epic, and tragic poetry, and also comedy and dithyramb and most flute and harp-music, are all by and large imitations.
  • He suddenly bursts into a dithyramb on what it is to be such a thing as a Canadian poet.
  • Ask him about the weather and he delivers a an eccentric little dithyramb on whether or not karate can be viewed with the third eye.



Pronunciation: /ˌdiTHəˈrambik/
Example sentences
  • The dithyrambic chorus is a chorus of the transformed.
  • From time to time he'd been forced to wax dithyrambic even about the pretend engineers.
  • Even Shelton had waxed philosophical and dithyrambic at his passing.


Early 17th century: via Latin from Greek dithurambos, of unknown ultimate origin.

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