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90s Slang You Should Know

swan song

the last act or manifestation of someone or something; farewell appearance:
This building turned out to be the swan song of Victorian architecture.
Origin of swan song
First recorded in 1825-35; so called from the belief that the dying swan sings Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for swan song
Historical Examples
  • It almost made me fear lest it should prove a swan song from the dear minister.

    Julia Ward Howe Laura E. Richards
  • It might well be the "swan song" of a veteran artist at such work.

    Holbein Beatrice Fortescue
  • Théophile Gautier wrote of him, "That exhibition was Marilhat's swan song, and the works he sent were eight diamonds."

  • There fell the flower of the Bohemian nobility; and there was heard the swan song of the Bohemian Brethren.

  • On the perfumed air the music swelled rapturously; a waltz, warm with the national life of Vienna; the swan song of Lanner!

    The Strollers Frederic S. Isham
  • And I sang from sheer exhilaration—a sort of swan song (as I see it now) before captivity.

    Caught by the Turks Francis Yeats-Brown
  • The first act of Tristan and the swan song of Isolde stirred her very entrails.

    Painted Veils James Huneker
  • The championship of Max, however, is a sort of swan song for musical comedy.

  • I believe,” Mollie smiled to herself, “that the autumn leaves sing their swan song, too.

  • He followed them down into their latest developments, and sang their swan song in his 'Lay of the Last Buccaneer.'

    The English in the West Indies James Anthony Froude
British Dictionary definitions for swan song

swan song

the last act, appearance, publication, or utterance of a person before retirement or death
the song that a dying swan is said 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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Idioms and Phrases with swan song

swan song

A final accomplishment or performance, one's last work. For example, I'm resigning tomorrow; this project was my swan song. This term alludes to the old belief that swans normally are mute but burst into beautiful song moments before they die. Although the idea is much older, the term was first recorded in English only in 1890.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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