adjective Also 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.
  3. characterized by or expressing spontaneous, direct feeling: a lyric song; lyric writing.
  4. pertaining to, rendered by, or employing singing.
  5. (of a voice) relatively light of volume and modest in range: a lyric soprano.
  6. 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
Related formslyr·i·cal·ly, adverblyr·i·cal·ness, nounnon·lyr·ic, adjectivenon·lyr·i·cal, adjectivenon·lyr·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·lyr·i·cal·ness, nounsem·i·lyr·ic, adjectivesem·i·lyr·i·cal, adjectivesem·i·lyr·i·cal·ly, adverbun·lyr·ic, adjectiveun·lyr·i·cal, adjectiveun·lyr·i·cal·ly, adverbun·lyr·i·cal·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for non-lyrical


  1. (of poetry)
    1. expressing the writer's personal feelings and thoughts
    2. having the form and manner of a song
  2. of or relating to such poetry
  3. (of music) having songlike qualities
  4. (of a singing voice) having a light quality and tone
  5. 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
Also (for senses 1–4): lyrical
Derived Formslyrically, adverblyricalness, noun

Word Origin for lyric

C16: from Latin lyricus, from Greek lurikos, from lura lyre
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 non-lyrical



"a lyric poem," 1580s, from Middle French lyrique "short poem expressing personal emotion," from Latin lyricus "of or for the lyre," from Greek lyrikos "singing to the lyre," from lyra (see lyre). Meaning "words of a popular song" is first recorded 1876. Related: lyrics.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

non-lyrical in Culture


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.