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rhapsody

[rap-suh-dee]
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noun, plural rhap·so·dies.
  1. Music. an instrumental composition irregular in form and suggestive of improvisation.
  2. an ecstatic expression of feeling or enthusiasm.
  3. an epic poem, or a part of such a poem, as a book of the Iliad, suitable for recitation at one time.
  4. a similar piece of modern literature.
  5. an unusually intense or irregular poem or piece of prose.
  6. Archaic. a miscellaneous collection; jumble.
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Origin of rhapsody

1535–45; < Latin rhapsōdia < Greek rhapsōidía recital of epic poetry, equivalent to rhapsōid(ós) rhapsodist + -ia -y3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rhapsody

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Your rhapsody, happy or not, will it not awaken the suspicions of De Chemerant?

  • During this rhapsody, her hand had been on the handle of the door.

    The Midnight Queen

    May Agnes Fleming

  • "Lots of girls are stage-struck," he said presently, breaking in on Mr. Martel's rhapsody.

    Quin

    Alice Hegan Rice

  • I had been listening to this rhapsody with the greatest admiration, when just then Bittra came in.

    My New Curate

    P.A. Sheehan

  • She can take a Hungarian rhapsody and turn it into a goulash in about 32 bars.


British Dictionary definitions for rhapsody

rhapsody

noun plural -dies
  1. music a composition free in structure and highly emotional in character
  2. an expression of ecstatic enthusiasm
  3. (in ancient Greece) an epic poem or part of an epic recited by a rhapsodist
  4. a literary work composed in an intense or exalted style
  5. rapturous delight or ecstasy
  6. obsolete a medley
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Word Origin

C16: via Latin from Greek rhapsōidia, from rhaptein to sew together + ōidē song
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 rhapsody

n.

1540s, "epic poem," from Middle French rhapsodie, from Latin rhapsodia, from Greek rhapsoidia "verse composition, recitation of epic poetry; a book, a lay, a canto," from rhapsodos "reciter of epic poems," literally "one who stitches or strings songs together," from rhaptein "to stitch, sew, weave" (see wrap (v.)) + oide "song" (see ode). Meaning "exalted enthusiastic feeling or expression" is from 1630s. Meaning "sprightly musical composition" is first recorded 1850s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper