• synonyms


[dith-uh-ram, -ramb]
  1. a Greek choral song or chant of vehement or wild character and of usually irregular form, originally in honor of Dionysus or Bacchus.
  2. any poem or other composition having similar characteristics, as an impassioned or exalted theme or irregular form.
  3. any wildly enthusiastic speech or writing.
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Origin of dithyramb

1595–1605; < Latin dīthyrambus < Greek dīthýrambos
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dithyramb

Historical Examples of dithyramb

  • His contribution to choral poetry was the elaboration of the dithyramb.

    Studies of the Greek Poets (Vol I of 2)

    John Addington Symonds

  • Rhetoric and dithyramb were gone from his speech and habit of mind.

    Red Fleece

    Will Levington Comfort

  • This was due to the introduction among the Dorians The dithyramb.

  • Eden smiled at the dithyramb as were she listening to some fay she did not see.


    Edgar Saltus

  • For the first time Verhaeren finds the form of the poem of the future—the dithyramb.

    mile Verhaeren

    Stefan Zweig

British Dictionary definitions for dithyramb


  1. (in ancient Greece) a passionate choral hymn in honour of Dionysus; the forerunner of Greek drama
  2. any utterance or a piece of writing that resembles this
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Word Origin for dithyramb

C17: from Latin dīthyrambus, from Greek dithurambos; related to iambos iamb
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 dithyramb


c.1600, from Latin dithyrambus, from Greek dithyrambos, of unknown origin, perhaps a pre-Hellenic loan-word. A wild choric hymn, originally in honor of Dionysus or Bacchus. Related: Dithyrambic.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper