Share this entry

Share this page

aria

Line breaks: aria
Pronunciation: /ˈɑːrɪə
 
/

Definition of aria in English:

noun

Music
A long accompanied song for a solo voice, typically one in an opera or oratorio.
Example sentences
  • Songs, arias, and operatic scenes are mixed together, and that works well too.
  • Only Bartoli could have made best-selling albums out of obscure arias by Scarlatti, Vivaldi and Gluck.
  • The concert will include many opera favourites including arias from Bizet, Puccini and Dvorak.

Origin

early 18th century: from Italian, from Latin aer 'air'.

More
  • air from (Middle English):

    1 The main modern sense of air, ‘the invisible gaseous substance surrounding the earth’ entered English via Old French and Latin from Greek aēr. Aerial (late 16th century), meaning ‘a rod or wire by which signals are transmitted or received’ and ‘existing or happening in the air’, comes from the same source, along with the Italian word aria (early 18th century). Aerobic (late 19th century) is from aēr combined with Greek bios ‘live’.

    2 The senses of air ‘an impression or manner’ and ‘a condescending manner’ (as in she gave herself airs) are probably from a completely different word, Old French aire ‘site, disposition’, which derives from Latin ager ‘field’, the root of English words such as agriculture (Late Middle English). Airy-fairy (mid 19th century) ‘impractical and foolishly idealistic’, was originally used to mean ‘delicate or light as a fairy’. The English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson ( 1809–1892), in his poem ‘Lilian’ ( 1830), described the subject as ‘Airy, fairy Lilian, Flitting, fairy Lilian’. See also gas

Words that rhyme with aria

Amu Darya, Zaria

Definition of aria in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day odium
Pronunciation: ˈōdēəm
noun
widespread hatred or disgust for someone…