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[mel-uh-dee] /ˈmɛl ə di/
a female given name.


[mel-uh-dee] /ˈmɛl ə di/
noun, plural melodies.
musical sounds in agreeable succession or arrangement.
  1. the succession of single tones in musical compositions, as distinguished from harmony and rhythm.
  2. the principal part in a harmonic composition; the air.
  3. a rhythmical succession of single tones producing a distinct musical phrase or idea.
a poem suitable for singing.
intonation, as of a segment of connected speech.
Origin of melody
1250-1300; Middle English melodie < Medieval Latin melōdia < Greek melōidía (choral) singing, equivalent to mel- (see melic) + -ōid- (see ode) + -ia -y3
Related forms
melodyless, adjective
undermelody, noun, plural undermelodies.
Can be confused
malady, melody.
1. See harmony. 2. tune, song, descant, theme. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for melodies
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Her siren song would make the mermaiden's melodies sound like a hurdy-gurdy.

    In Vanity Fair Eleanor Hoyt Brainerd
  • When she would listen, the birds vied with each other in their melodies.

    The Witch of Salem John R. Musick
  • And though the revel must languish, yet we attend the refrain of all the melodies in crowning rapture.

  • Or is it that the ragtime kings have gone to the antiquities of the Orient for their melodies?

    Nights in London Thomas Burke
  • He was fond of German melodies, and knew how to delight his audience with a song.

    Odd Bits of History Henry W. Wolff
British Dictionary definitions for melodies


noun (pl) -dies
  1. a succession of notes forming a distinctive sequence; tune
  2. the horizontally represented aspect of the structure of a piece of music Compare harmony (sense 4b)
sounds that are pleasant because of tone or arrangement, esp words of poetry
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from Late Latin melōdia, from Greek melōidia singing, from melos song + -ōidia, from aoidein to sing
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 melodies



late 13c., from Old French melodie "music, song, tune" (12c.), from Late Latin melodia, from Greek meloidia "a singing, a chanting, choral song, a tune for lyric poetry," from melos "song, part of song" (see melisma) + oide "song, ode" (see ode).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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