or plain song

[pleyn-sawng, -song]
  1. the unisonous vocal music used in the Christian church from the earliest times.
  2. modal liturgical music; Gregorian chant.
  3. a cantus firmus or theme chosen for contrapuntal development.
  4. any simple and unadorned melody or air.

Origin of plainsong

1505–15; translation of Medieval Latin cantus plānus
Also called plainchant (for defs 1, 2). Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for plain-song

Historical Examples of plain-song

British Dictionary definitions for plain-song


  1. the style of unison unaccompanied vocal music used in the medieval Church, esp in Gregorian chantAlso called: plainchant

Word Origin for plainsong

C16: translation of Medieval Latin cantus plānus
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 plain-song

also plainsong, plain-song, 1510s, translating Latin cantus planus, French plain chant.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper