[ ohd ]
/ oʊd /
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a lyric poem typically of elaborate or irregular metrical form and expressive of exalted or enthusiastic emotion.
(originally) a poem intended to be sung.
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Origin of ode

1580–90; <Middle French <Late Latin ōda<Greek ōidḗ, contraction of aoidḗ song, derivative of aeídein to sing


ode , owed

Other definitions for ode (2 of 3)


a suffix of nouns, appearing in loanwords from Greek, where it meant “like”; used in the formation of compound words: phyllode.
Compare -oid.

Origin of -ode

<Greek -ōdēs, probably generalized from adjectives describing smells, as kēṓdēs smelling like incense; base ōd- of ózein to smell, give off odor

Other definitions for ode (3 of 3)


a combining form meaning “way,” “road,” used in the formation of compound words: anode; electrode.

Origin of -ode

<Greek -odos, combining form of hodós
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What else does ode mean?

In literature, an ode is a type of lyrical poem enthusiastically praising a person or event. The slang ode, pronounced [ oh-dee ], is an intensifying adverb meaning “really” or “very.”

How is ode pronounced?

[ ohd ] or [ oh-dee ]

What are other forms of ode?


What are some other words related to ode?

Where does ode come from?

The ancient Greeks can be thanked for the original ode, poems that exalted individuals, actions, or nature. Famous ode writers over the centuries include the Greek Pindar, the Roman Horace, and, in the English language, John Keats. The word ode, from a Greek word meaning “song” or “chant,” is recorded in English in the 1500s.

The word ode is often found in the construction ode to X, with X being the object of the poem or other artistic work’s praise.

The slang ode (or odee) emerged as a substitute for “really” or “very” by 2009. It appears to be a phonetic spelling of the acronym for overdose, OD, whose original sense was extended to the idea of doing something to an extreme extent, hence “really” or “very.”

How is ode used in real life?

Outside of more formal literature, art, and music, ode is used as a term for “heightened praise” more generally (e.g., an ode to cute animal pictures). Very often, the grand scale of ode is used this way in a humorous manner, praising more mundane objects, such as bathrobes or coffee, for the joy they give people in their everyday lives.

Ode for “very” is found in slang. It carries a sense of exaggeration, much like the slang mad or hella. Extremely tired? Ode tired. Extremely late? Ode late. Really into someone? Ode attracted.


More examples of ode:

“An ode to Adventure Time, one of TV’s most ambitious—and yes, most adventurous, shows”

—Dan Schindel, Vox (headline), September 2018

How to use ode in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ode (1 of 3)

/ (əʊd) /

a lyric poem, typically addressed to a particular subject, with lines of varying lengths and complex rhythmsSee also Horatian ode, Pindaric ode
(formerly) a poem meant to be sung

Word Origin for ode

C16: via French from Late Latin ōda, from Greek ōidē, from aeidein to sing

British Dictionary definitions for ode (2 of 3)


n combining form
denoting resemblancenematode

Word Origin for -ode

from Greek -ōdēs, from eidos shape, form

British Dictionary definitions for ode (3 of 3)


n combining form
denoting a path or wayelectrode

Word Origin for -ode

from Greek -odos, from hodos a way
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 ode


A kind of poem devoted to the praise of a person, animal, or thing. An ode is usually written in an elevated style and often expresses deep feeling. An example is “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” by John Keats.

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.