Definition of melody in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmɛlədi/

noun (plural melodies)

1A sequence of single notes that is musically satisfying; a tune: 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, music, air, strain, theme, subject, line, part, song, refrain, jingle, piece
1.1 [mass noun] The aspect of musical composition concerned with the arrangement of single notes to form a satisfying sequence: her 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.
1.3 [mass noun] Sweet music; tunefulness.
Example sentences
  • Yet, unlike so many other releases, rather than focusing on the sweetness and melody of pop music, Massimo seems to be grasping for rock instead.
  • The music is devoid of melody, at least in the traditional sense, but it can grab the listener as tightly as any Big Tune, if given the chance.
  • In fact, it's thought that the mathematical structure embedded in the rhythm and melody of music is what our brains latch on to, and that this is why we enjoy listening to it.


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

Line breaks: mel¦ody

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