Definition of melody in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmelədē/

noun (plural melodies)

1A sequence of single notes that is musically satisfying: he picked out an intricate melody on his guitar
More example sentences
  • Singers will get the chance to sing in harmony, in single line melodies, in rounds and to experiment with varied vocal textures.
  • It means he can hum a popular melody in the tune of other songs.
  • It's a rather chirpy little guitar-pop song with a melody that is strangely reminiscent of the Postman Pat theme tune.
tune, air, strain, theme, song, refrain, piece of music, ditty
informal earworm
1.1Musically satisfying sequences of notes collectively: his great gift was for melody
More example sentences
  • They do display a keen sense of melody and song arrangement, but being better than all the other emo bands still isn't saying much.
  • The common threads are Jóhannsson's airy use of space and the fundamental simplicity with which he approaches melody and arrangement.
  • Consistently elevating each of these fourteen tracks above the clones are the pair's ear for melody and sense of musical humor.
1.2The principal part in harmonized music: we have the melody and bass of a song composed by Strozzi
More example sentences
  • Possibly the lack of harmonic padding between the melody and bass lines meant that there was more inclusive space for other adjacent sounds.
  • It has been said that in Schubert's music the melody stands for life and the harmony for death.
  • The haze of sound he creates actually does activate those harmonics and their subtle movement is the real melody of the music.


Middle English (also in the sense 'sweet music'): from Old French melodie, via late Latin from Greek melōidia, from melos 'song'.

  • This goes back to Greek melos ‘song’. Melodrama (early 19th century) was adopted from French and is a blend of melos ‘music’ and French drame ‘drama’.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mel·o·dy

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