song

[sawng, song]
See more synonyms for song on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a short metrical composition intended or adapted for singing, especially one in rhymed stanzas; a lyric; a ballad.
  2. a musical piece adapted for singing or simulating a piece to be sung: Mendelssohn's “Songs without Words.”
  3. poetical composition; poetry.
  4. the art or act of singing; vocal music.
  5. something that is sung.
  6. an elaborate vocal signal produced by an animal, as the distinctive sounds produced by certain birds, frogs, etc., in a courtship or territorial display.
Idioms
  1. for a song, at a very low price; as a bargain: We bought the rug for a song when the estate was auctioned off.

Origin of song

before 900; Middle English song, sang, Old English; cognate with German Sang, Old Norse sǫngr, Gothic saggws
Related formssong·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


British Dictionary definitions for for a song

Song

noun
  1. the Pinyin transliteration of the Chinese name for Sung

song

noun
    1. a piece of music, usually employing a verbal text, composed for the voice, esp one intended for performance by a soloist
    2. the whole repertory of such pieces
    3. (as modifier)a song book
  1. poetical composition; poetry
  2. the characteristic tuneful call or sound made by certain birds or insects
  3. the act or process of singingthey raised their voices in song
  4. for a song at a bargain price
  5. on song British informal performing at peak efficiency or ability
Derived Formssonglike, adjective

Word Origin for song

Old English sang; related to Gothic saggws, Old High German sang; see sing
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 for a song

song

n.

Old English sang "voice, song, art of singing; metrical composition adapted for singing, psalm, poem," from Proto-Germanic *sangwaz (cf. Old Norse söngr, Norwegian song, Swedish sång, Old Saxon, Danish, Old Frisian, Old High German, German sang, Middle Dutch sanc, Dutch zang, Gothic saggws), from PIE *songwh-o- "singing, song," from *sengwh- "to sing, make an incantation" (see sing (v.)).

Phrase for a song "for a trifle, for little or nothing" is from "All's Well" III.ii.9 (the identical image, por du son, is in Old French. With a song in (one's) heart "feeling joy" is first attested 1930 in Lorenz Hart's lyric. Song and dance as a form of vaudeville act is attested from 1872; figurative sense of "rigmarole" is from 1895.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with for a song

for a song

Very cheaply, for little money, especially for less than something is worth. For example, “I know a man ... sold a goodly manor for a song” (Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well, 3:2). This idiom alludes to the pennies given to street singers or to the small cost of sheet music. [Late 1500s]

song

In addition to the idiom beginning with song

  • song and dance

also see:

  • for a song
  • swan song
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.