- a melody or counterpoint accompanying a simple musical theme and usually written above it.
- (in part music) the soprano.
- a song or melody.
- soprano: a descant recorder.
- treble: a descant viol.
verb (used without object)
- desault's bandage,
- descartes' law,
- descartes, rené,
- descemet's membrane,
Origin of descant
Examples from the Web for descant
Many people were surprised to find that they could descant sincerely and patriotically upon the might and glories of the Empire.The Siege of Kimberley|T. Phelan
Of course it is very easy for Sir James Graham, holding such views, to descant on the impolicy of any return to protection.
Speak of cherishing a departed friend, and they will descant on the absurdity of going about moaning and weeping all your days.A New Atmosphere|Gail Hamilton
This is not the same idle performance as to descant rapturously upon his purely inborn genius.Platform Monologues|T. G. Tucker
After all this, might we descant upon the squire's characteristics.The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper|Martin Farquhar Tupper
noun (ˈdɛskænt, ˈdɪs-)
adjective (ˈdɛskænt, ˈdɪs-)
verb (dɛsˈkænt, dɪs-) (intr)
Word Origin for descant
late 14c., from Old North French descant (Old French deschant), from Medieval Latin discantus "refrain, part-song," from Latin dis- "asunder, apart" (see dis-) + cantus "song" (see chant). Spelling was partly Latinized 16c. Originally "counterpoint."
mid-15c.; see descant (n.). Sense of "to comment at length" is first attested 1640s.