[ mon-uh-dee ]
See synonyms for monody on
noun,plural mon·o·dies.
  1. a Greek ode sung by a single voice, as in a tragedy; lament.

  2. a poem in which the poet or speaker laments another's death; threnody.

  1. Music.

    • a style of composition in which one part or melody predominates; homophony, as distinguished from polyphony.

    • a piece in this style.

Origin of monody

First recorded in 1580–90; from Late Latin monōdia, from Greek monōidía “a solo, monody,” equivalent to monōid(ós) “singing alone” + -ia noun suffix; see mon-, ode) -y3

Other words from monody

  • mon·o·dist [mon-uh-dist], /ˈmɒn ə dɪst/, noun

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

How to use monody in a sentence

  • In my last communication on this subject, I forgot to remark on the strange title given to the monody on Mr. Browne.

  • The feature of this dramatic-musical novelty was its musica-parlante—a species of monody, or declamation, claimed to be la Grec.

    Verdi: Man and Musician | Frederick James Crowest
  • The clavier by its very nature tended towards polyphony; the violin towards monody.

    The Pianoforte Sonata | J.S. Shedlock
  • The chorus died; and we heard again the deep monody of the sea, like the admonitory voice of fate.

    Old Junk | H. M. Tomlinson
  • Milton's "Lycidas" is a monody on the death of the poet's friend, Edward King.

British Dictionary definitions for monody


/ (ˈmɒnədɪ) /

nounplural -dies
  1. (in Greek tragedy) an ode sung by a single actor

  2. any poem of lament for someone's death

  1. music a style of composition consisting of a single vocal part, usually with accompaniment

Origin of monody

C17: via Late Latin from Greek monōidia, from mono- + aeidein to sing

Derived forms of monody

  • monodic (mɒˈnɒdɪk) or monodical, adjective
  • monodically, adverb
  • monodist, 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