Definition: Singer

From New World Encyclopedia

Etymology 1

From Middle English synger, syngere, singere, singare, equivalent to sing +‎ -er. Cognate with Scots singar, Saterland Frisian Sjunger, West Frisian sjonger, German Low German Singer. Compare also Old English sangere, Dutch zanger, German Low German Sänger, German Sänger (“singer”), Danish sanger, Swedish sångare, Icelandic söngvari.


singer (plural singers)

  1. person who sings, is able to sing, or earns a living by singing
  2. (square dance) dance figure with a fixed structure, sung by a caller, or a piece of music with that structure.

Derived terms

  • carol singer
  • opera singer
  • singer-songwriter

Related terms

  • songster
  • songstress

Etymology 2

From singe from Middle English sengen, from Old English senġan, sænċġan (“to singe, burn slightly, scorch, afflict”), from Proto-West Germanic *sangijan (“to burn, torch”), from Proto-Indo-European *senk- (“to burn”). Cognate with West Frisian singe, sinzje (“to singe”), Saterland Frisian soange (“to singe”), Dutch zengen (“to singe, scorch”), German Low German sengen (“to singe”), German sengen (“to singe, scorch”), Icelandic sangur (“singed, burnt, scorched”). +‎ -er.


singer (plural singers)

  1. A person who, or device which, singes.
  2. A machine for singeing cloth.


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