[ fil-hahr-mon-ik, fil-er- ]
/ ˌfɪl hɑrˈmɒn ɪk, ˌfɪl ər- /


fond of or devoted to music; music-loving: used especially in the name of certain musical societies that sponsor symphony orchestras (Philharmonic Societies) and hence applied to their concerts (philharmonic concerts).
of, noting, or presented by a symphony orchestra or the society sponsoring it.


a symphony orchestra or the society sponsoring it.

Nearby words

  1. philately,
  2. philby,
  3. philby, kim,
  4. philem.,
  5. philemon,
  6. philharmonic pitch,
  7. philhellene,
  8. philhellenism,
  9. philibeg,
  10. philip

Origin of philharmonic

1755–65; phil- + harmonic; modeled on French philharmonique or Italian filarmonico Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for philharmonic

British Dictionary definitions for philharmonic


/ (ˌfɪlhɑːˈmɒnɪk, ˌfɪlə-) /


fond of music
(capital when part of a name) denoting an orchestra, choir, society, etc, devoted to the performance, appreciation, and study of music


(capital when part of a name) a specific philharmonic choir, orchestra, or society

Word Origin for philharmonic

C18: from French philharmonique, from Italian filarmonico music-loving; see philo-, harmony

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 philharmonic



1813 (in the name of a society founded in London for the promotion of instrumental music), from French philharmonique (1739), from Italian filarmonico, literally "loving harmony," from Greek philos "loving" see philo-) + ta harmonika "theory of harmony, music," from neuter plural of harmonikos (see harmonic). The Society name was taken up in the names of many symphony orchestras.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper