- to utter words or sounds in succession with musical modulations of the voice; vocalize melodically.
- to perform a song or voice composition: She promised to sing for us.
- to produce melodious sounds, usually high in pitch, as certain birds, insects, etc.: The nightingale sang in the tree.
- to compose poetry: Keats sang briefly but gloriously.
- to tell about or praise someone or something in verse or song: He sang of the warrior's prowess.
- to admit of being sung, as verses: This lyric sings well.
- to give out a continuous ringing, whistling, murmuring, burbling, or other euphonious sound, as a teakettle or a brook.
- to make a short whistling, ringing, or whizzing sound: The bullet sang past his ear.
- (of an electrical amplifying system) to produce an undesired self-sustained oscillation.
- to have the sensation of a ringing or humming sound, as the ears.
- Slang. to confess or act as an informer; squeal.
- to utter with musical modulations of the voice, as a song.
- to escort or accompany with singing.
- to proclaim enthusiastically.
- to bring, send, put, etc., with or by singing: She sang the baby to sleep.
- to chant or intone: to sing mass.
- to tell or praise in verse or song.
- the act or performance of singing.
- a gathering or meeting of persons for the purpose of singing: a community sing.
- a singing, ringing, or whistling sound, as of a bullet.
- sing out, Informal. to call in a loud voice; shout: They lost their way in the cavern and sang out for help.
Origin of sing
Examples from the Web for singing
Think of it as Game of Thrones—if you subtract the sex and violence and add drunken revelry and singing.‘Galavant’: A Drunken, Horny Musical Fairy Tale
January 5, 2015
The ceremony ended with a singing of “God Bless America,” with some of those in the stands as well as de Blasio singing along.Cop Families Boo De Blasio at NYPD Graduation
December 30, 2014
He played it through once, singing the lyrics softly to his own guitar accompaniment.How Martin Luther King Jr. Influenced Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’
December 28, 2014
In the film, Foxx is able to showcase his singing, knack for comedy and all-around versatility.Jamie Foxx: Get Over the Black ‘Annie’
December 20, 2014
“No eyes are on the sparrow, eyes are on the sparrow / He is singing anyway.”Is Bigger Better for St. Vincent?
December 4, 2014
Her singing especially seemed to enchant and fascinate the girl.
Several times she dressed the child, singing to him all the time.
Never was I in such a noisy, roystering, singing, lounging place.The Roof of France
Then boys and girls enter dancing and singing a harvest song.Apu Ollantay
"That is the Pawnees, singing their travel song," said the Buffalo Chief.The Trail Book
- to produce or articulate (sounds, words, a song, etc) with definite and usually specific musical intonation
- (when intr, often foll by to) to perform (a song) to the accompaniment (of)to sing to a guitar
- (intr foll by of) to tell a story or tale in song (about)I sing of a maiden
- (intr foll by to) to address a song (to) or perform a song (for)
- (intr) to perform songs for a living, as a professional singer
- (intr) (esp of certain birds and insects) to utter calls or sounds reminiscent of music
- (when intr, usually foll by of) to tell (something) or give praise (to someone), esp in versethe poet who sings of the Trojan dead
- (intr) to make a whining, ringing, or whistling soundthe kettle is singing; the arrow sang past his ear
- (intr) (of the ears) to experience a continuous ringing or humming sound
- (tr) (esp in church services) to chant or intone (a prayer, psalm, etc)
- (tr) to bring to a given state by singingto sing a child to sleep
- (intr) slang, mainly US to confess or act as an informer
- (intr) Australian (in Aboriginal witchcraft) to bring about a person's death by incantation. The same power can sometimes be used beneficently
- informal an act or performance of singing
- a ringing or whizzing sound, as of bullets
Word Origin and History for singing
Old English singan "to chant, sing, celebrate, or tell in song," also used of birds (class III strong verb; past tense sang, past participle sungen), from Proto-Germanic *sengwan (cf. Old Saxon singan, Old Frisian sionga, Middle Dutch singhen, Dutch zingen, Old High German singan, German singen, Gothic siggwan, Old Norse syngva, Swedish sjunga), from PIE root *sengwh- "to sing, make an incantation." The criminal slang sense of "to confess to authorities" is attested from 1610s.
No related forms in other languages, unless perhaps it is connected to Greek omphe "voice" (especially of a god), "oracle;" and Welsh dehongli "explain, interpret." The typical Indo-European root is represented by Latin canere (see chant (v.)). Other words meaning "sing" derive from roots meaning "cry, shout," but Irish gaibim is literally "take, seize," with sense evolution via "take up" a song or melody.
"act of singing," especially collective, 1850, from sing (v.).