Definition: Song

From New World Encyclopedia


From Middle English song, sang, from Old English sang, from Proto-West Germanic *sangu, from Proto-Germanic *sangwaz (“singing, song”), from Proto-Indo-European *sengʷʰ- (“to sing”). Cognate with Scots sang, song (“singing, song”), Saterland Frisian Song (“song”), West Frisian sang (“song”), Dutch zang (“song”), Low German sang (“song”), German Sang (“singing, song”), Swedish sång (“song”), Norwegian Bokmål sang (“song”), Norwegian Nynorsk song (“song”), Icelandic söngur (“song”), Ancient Greek ὀμφή (omphḗ, “voice, oracle”).


song (countable and uncountable, plural songs)

  1. A musical piece with lyrics (or "words to sing"); prose that one can sing.
    He wrote a beautiful song about her.
  2. Poetical composition; poetry; verse.
  3. The act or art of singing.
  4. A melodious sound by a bird.
    I love hearing the song of canary birds.
  5. A musical sound by insect, whale, or some other animal which sounds melodious to humans.
  6. (ornithology) The distinctive sound that a male bird utters to attract a mate or to protect his territory; contrasts with call; also, similar vocalizations made by female birds.
  7. A low price, especially one under the expected value.
    He bought that car for a song.

Derived terms


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