[ lir-ik ]
See synonyms for: lyriclyrics on

adjectiveAlso lyr·i·cal.
  1. (of poetry) having the form and musical quality of a song, and especially the character of a songlike outpouring of the poet's own thoughts and feelings, as distinguished from epic and dramatic poetry.

  2. pertaining to or writing lyric poetry: a lyric poet.

  1. characterized by or expressing spontaneous, direct feeling: a lyric song; lyric writing.

  2. pertaining to, rendered by, or employing singing.

  3. (of a voice) relatively light of volume and modest in range: a lyric soprano.

  4. pertaining, adapted, or sung to the lyre, or composing poems to be sung to the lyre: ancient Greek lyric odes.

  1. a lyric poem.

  2. Often lyrics. the words of a song.

Origin of lyric

1575–85; <Latin lyricus<Greek lyrikós.See lyre, -ic

Other words from lyric

  • lyr·i·cal·ly, adverb
  • lyr·i·cal·ness, noun
  • non·lyr·ic, adjective
  • non·lyr·i·cal, adjective
  • non·lyr·i·cal·ly, adverb
  • non·lyr·i·cal·ness, noun
  • sem·i·lyr·ic, adjective
  • sem·i·lyr·i·cal, adjective
  • sem·i·lyr·i·cal·ly, adverb
  • un·lyr·ic, adjective
  • un·lyr·i·cal, adjective
  • un·lyr·i·cal·ly, adverb
  • un·lyr·i·cal·ness, noun

Words Nearby lyric Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use lyric in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for lyric


/ (ˈlɪrɪk) /

  1. (of poetry)

    • expressing the writer's personal feelings and thoughts

    • having the form and manner of a song

  2. of or relating to such poetry

  1. (of music) having songlike qualities

  2. (of a singing voice) having a light quality and tone

  3. intended for singing, esp (in classical Greece) to the accompaniment of the lyre

  1. a short poem of songlike quality

  2. (plural) the words of a popular song

Origin of lyric

C16: from Latin lyricus, from Greek lurikos, from lura lyre
  • Also (for senses 1–4): lyrical

Derived forms of lyric

  • lyrically, adverb
  • lyricalness, noun

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

Cultural definitions for lyric


A kind of poetry, generally short, characterized by a musical use of language. Lyric poetry often involves the expression of intense personal emotion. The elegy, the ode, and the sonnet are forms of the lyric poem.

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.