Symphony
Symphony Sym"pho*ny, n.; pl. {Symphonies}. [F. symphonie (cf. It. sinfonia), L. symphonia, Gr. ?; sy`n with + ? a sound, the voice. See {Phonetic}.] 1. A consonance or harmony of sounds, agreeable to the ear, whether the sounds are vocal or instrumental, or both. [1913 Webster]

The trumpets sound, And warlike symphony in heard around. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

2. A stringed instrument formerly in use, somewhat resembling the virginal. [1913 Webster]

With harp and pipe and symphony. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

3. (Mus.) (a) An elaborate instrumental composition for a full orchestra, consisting usually, like the sonata, of three or four contrasted yet inwardly related movements, as the allegro, the adagio, the minuet and trio, or scherzo, and the finale in quick time. The term has recently been applied to large orchestral works in freer form, with arguments or programmes to explain their meaning, such as the ``symphonic poems'' of Liszt. The term was formerly applied to any composition for an orchestra, as overtures, etc., and still earlier, to certain compositions partly vocal, partly instrumental. (b) An instrumental passage at the beginning or end, or in the course of, a vocal composition; a prelude, interlude, or postude; a ritornello. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • symphony — [sim′fə nē] n. pl. symphonies [ME symfonye < OFr simphonie < L symphonia < Gr symphōnia < syn , together + phōnē, a sound: see PHONO ] 1. harmony of sounds, esp. of instruments 2. harmony of any kind, esp. of color 3. anything, as a… …   English World dictionary

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  • symphony — (n.) late 13c., the name of various musical instruments, from O.Fr. symphonie harmony (12c.), from L. symphonia a unison of sounds, harmony, from Gk. symphonia harmony, concert, from symphonos harmonious, from syn together (see SYN (Cf. syn )) +… …   Etymology dictionary

  • symphony — ► NOUN (pl. symphonies) ▪ an elaborate musical composition for full orchestra, typically in four movements. ORIGIN Greek sumph nia, from sumph nos harmonious …   English terms dictionary

  • symphony — /sim feuh nee/, n., pl. symphonies. 1. Music. a. an elaborate instrumental composition in three or more movements, similar in form to a sonata but written for an orchestra and usually of far grander proportions and more varied elements. b. an… …   Universalium

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  • symphony — noun (plural nies) Etymology: Middle English symphonie, from Middle French, from Latin symphonia, from Greek symphōnia, from symphōnos concordant in sound, from syn + phōnē voice, sound more at ban Date: 15th century 1. consonance of sounds 2. a …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • symphony — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ first, second, etc. ▪ C major, D minor, etc. VERB + SYMPHONY ▪ compose …   Collocations dictionary

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