song

[ sawng, song ]
/ sɔŋ, sɒŋ /

noun

a short metrical composition intended or adapted for singing, especially one in rhymed stanzas; a lyric; a ballad.
a musical piece adapted for singing or simulating a piece to be sung: Mendelssohn's “Songs without Words.”
poetical composition; poetry.
the art or act of singing; vocal music.
something that is sung.
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

    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 forms

song·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for for a song (1 of 2)

Song

/ (sʊŋ) /

noun

the Pinyin transliteration of the Chinese name for Sung

British Dictionary definitions for for a song (2 of 2)

song

/ (sɒŋ) /

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
poetical composition; poetry
the characteristic tuneful call or sound made by certain birds or insects
the act or process of singingthey raised their voices in song
for a song at a bargain price
on song British informal performing at peak efficiency or ability

Derived Forms

songlike, 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

Idioms and Phrases with for a song (1 of 2)

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]


Idioms and Phrases with for a song (2 of 2)

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.