• synonyms


  1. one of the melodic formulas of Hindu music having the melodic shape, rhythm, and ornamentation prescribed by tradition.
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Origin of raga

First recorded in 1780–90, raga is from the Sanskrit word rāga color, tone
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for raga

Historical Examples

  • It was about the year 1813 Raga commenced operations on a large scale.

    The Pirates Own Book

    Charles Ellms

  • Thence it is a day's journey to the river Raga, where p.69 there is the sepulchre of King Zedekiah.

  • Among the most desperate and successful pirates of the present day, Raga is most distinguished.

  • Among them was a chief, or rajah, named Raga, notorious for the boldness and success of his undertakings.

British Dictionary definitions for raga


noun (in Indian music)
  1. any of several conventional patterns of melody and rhythm that form the basis for freely interpreted compositions. Each pattern is associated with different aspects of religious devotion
  2. a composition based on one of these patterns
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Word Origin

C18: from Sanskrit rāga tone, colour
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 raga


1788, from Sanskrit raga-s "harmony, melody, mode in music," literally "color, mood," related to rajyati "it is dyed," from PIE *reg- (3) "to dye" (cf. Greek rhegos "blanket, rug").

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper