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opus

[oh-puh s]
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noun, plural o·pus·es or especially for 1, 2, o·pe·ra [oh-per-uh, op-er-uh] /ˈoʊ pər ə, ˈɒp ər ə/.
  1. a musical composition.
  2. one of the compositions of a composer, usually numbered according to the order of publication.
  3. a literary work or composition, as a book: Have you read her latest opus? Abbreviation: op.

Origin of opus

1695–1705; < Latin: work, labor, a work

finis coronat opus

[fee-nis-koh-roh-naht-oh-poo s; English fin-is kaw-roh-nat oh-puh s, koh-]
Latin.
  1. the end crowns the work.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for opus

opus

noun plural opuses or opera (ˈɒpərə)
  1. an artistic composition, esp a musical work
  2. (often capital) (usually followed by a number) a musical composition by a particular composer, generally catalogued in order of publicationBeethoven's opus 61 is his violin concerto
Abbreviation: op.

Word Origin

C18: from Latin: a work; compare Sanskrit apas work
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

Word Origin and History for opus

n.

"a work, composition," especially a musical one, 1809, from Latin opus "a work, labor, exertion" (source of Italian opera, French oeuvre, Spanish obra), from PIE root *op- (Germanic *ob-) "to work, produce in abundance," originally of agriculture later extended to religious acts (cf. Sanskrit apas- "work, religious act;" Avestan hvapah- "good deed;" Old High German uoben "to start work, to practice, to honor;" German üben "to exercise, practice;" Dutch oefenen, Old Norse æfa, Danish øve "to exercise, practice;" Old English æfnan "to perform, work, do," afol "power"). The plural, seldom used as such, is opera.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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