[ 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

Definition for aria (2 of 3)


[ ahr-ee-uh, uh-rahy-uh ]
/ ˈɑr i ə, əˈraɪ ə /

noun Classical Mythology.

a nymph, the mother of Miletus, by Apollo.

Definition for aria (3 of 3)


a suffix occurring in scientific terms of Latin origin, especially in names of biological genera and groups: filaria.

Origin of -aria

< Latin: feminine singular or neuter plural of -ārius -ary Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for aria

British Dictionary definitions for aria


/ (ˈɑːrɪə) /


an elaborate accompanied song for solo voice from a cantata, opera, or oratorioSee also da capo

Word Origin for aria

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

Culture definitions for 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.


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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.