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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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for arias
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • arias is dead, Raminez also, though I have not seen a Raminez to equal this one.

    Poor Folk in Spain Jan Gordon
  • Some plans accompanied arias' report but were not published.

  • The work is for a five part choir, with arias, a duet, and a trio.


    Charles Francis Abdy Williams
  • They prescribed also the kinds and number of arias, duets, etc.

    How Music Developed W. J. Henderson
  • His arias are deliberately designed to catch the applause of an audience.

    How Music Developed W. J. Henderson
British Dictionary definitions for arias


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 arias



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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arias 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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