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noun, plural mel·o·dies.
  1. musical sounds in agreeable succession or arrangement.
  2. Music.
    1. the succession of single tones in musical compositions, as distinguished from harmony and rhythm.
    2. the principal part in a harmonic composition; the air.
    3. a rhythmical succession of single tones producing a distinct musical phrase or idea.
  3. a poem suitable for singing.
  4. intonation, as of a segment of connected speech.

Origin of melody

1250–1300; Middle English melodie < Medieval Latin melōdia < Greek melōidía (choral) singing, equivalent to mel- (see melic) + -ōid- (see ode) + -ia -y3
Related formsmel·o·dy·less, adjectiveun·der·mel·o·dy, noun, plural un·der·mel·o·dies.
Can be confusedmalady melody

Synonyms for melody

See more synonyms for on
1. See harmony. 2. tune, song, descant, theme. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for melodies

Contemporary Examples of melodies

Historical Examples of melodies

British Dictionary definitions for melodies


noun plural -dies
  1. music
    1. a succession of notes forming a distinctive sequence; tune
    2. the horizontally represented aspect of the structure of a piece of musicCompare harmony (def. 4b)
  2. sounds that are pleasant because of tone or arrangement, esp words of poetry

Word Origin for melody

C13: from Old French, from Late Latin melōdia, from Greek melōidia singing, from melos song + -ōidia, from aoidein to 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 melodies



late 13c., from Old French melodie "music, song, tune" (12c.), from Late Latin melodia, from Greek meloidia "a singing, a chanting, choral song, a tune for lyric poetry," from melos "song, part of song" (see melisma) + oide "song, ode" (see ode).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper