[ahr-ee-uh, air-ee-uh]


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 confusedarea aria


[ahr-ee-uh, uh-rahy-uh]

noun Classical Mythology.

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

Related Words for arias

hymn, descant, song

Examples from the Web for arias

Contemporary Examples of arias

Historical Examples of arias

  • Arias is dead, Raminez also, though I have not seen a Raminez to equal this one.

  • Some plans accompanied Arias' report but were not published.

  • The work is for a five part choir, with arias, a duet, and a trio.


    Charles Francis Abdy Williams

  • They prescribed also the kinds and number of arias, duets, etc.

    How Music Developed

    W. J. Henderson

  • His arias are deliberately designed to catch the applause of an audience.

    How Music Developed

    W. J. Henderson

British Dictionary definitions for arias



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

arias in Culture



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.