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[ahr-ee-uh, air-ee-uh] /ˈɑr i ə, ˈɛər i ə/
an air or melody.
an elaborate melody sung solo with accompaniment, as in an opera or oratorio.
Origin of aria
From Italian, dating back to 1735-45; See origin at air1
Can be confused
area, aria.


[ahr-ee-uh, uh-rahy-uh] /ˈɑr i ə, əˈraɪ ə/
noun, Classical Mythology.
a nymph, the mother of Miletus, by Apollo.


a suffix occurring in scientific terms of Latin origin, especially in names of biological genera and groups:
< Latin: feminine singular or neuter plural of -ārius -ary Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for aria
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But when we got there no springs were to be seen, and I'aria said he must have mistaken the place.

    Across Patagonia

    Lady Florence Dixie
  • We soon 189 got near to the camp, and shouted to I'aria to bring us some bullets.

    Across Patagonia

    Lady Florence Dixie
  • While studying an application he sang, mezza voce, the aria from Pagliacci.

    Crimes of Charity Konrad Bercovici
  • Here are the words—which are repeated fourteen times in the course of the aria.

    Bizarre Lawton Mackall
  • Suddenly she stopped in the middle of her aria and burst into a peal of laughter.

  • The length of aria is about 2000 stadia, and the breadth of the plain 300 stadia.

British Dictionary definitions for aria


an elaborate accompanied song for solo voice from a cantata, opera, or oratorio See also da capo
Word Origin
C18: from Italian: tune, air
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for aria

from Italian aria, literally "air" (see air (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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aria in Culture
aria [(ahr-ee-uh)]

A piece of music for one voice (or occasionally two voices) in an opera, oratorio, or cantata. In contrast with recitative singing, arias are melodious; in contrast with ordinary songs, arias are usually elaborate.

Note: Some composers, such as Richard Wagner, have felt that arias interrupt the action of opera too much and hence have written operas without them.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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