[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. argüedas,
  2. arhat,
  3. arhinia,
  4. arhythmia,
  5. arhythmic,
  6. aria da capo,
  7. ariadne,
  8. arian,
  9. ariane,
  10. arianism

Origin of aria

From Italian, dating back to 1735–45; see origin at air1

Can be confusedarea aria


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

noun Classical Mythology.

a nymph, the mother of Miletus, by Apollo. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for arias

British Dictionary definitions for arias


/ (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

Word Origin and History for arias



from Italian aria, literally "air" (see air (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for arias


[ (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.