[ sing-speel; German zing-shpeel ]
/ ˈsɪŋˌspil; German ˈzɪŋˌʃpil /


a German opera, especially of the 18th century, using spoken dialogue and resembling ballad opera.

Nearby words

  1. singletrack,
  2. singletree,
  3. singlish,
  4. singly,
  5. singsong,
  6. singular,
  7. singular point,
  8. singularity,
  9. singularize,
  10. singularly

Origin of singspiel

1880–85; < German, equivalent to sing(en) to sing + Spiel play Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for singspiel

  • A Singspiel in three scenes, a free rendering of Comala with the original ending unchanged.

    Ossian in Germany|Rudolf Tombo
  • The old German singspiel form is preserved in the original score of "Der Freischtz," which contains spoken dialogue.

    How Music Developed|W. J. Henderson
  • Leipsic and Vienna made earnest attempts to support the German "singspiel" (song-play).

    How Music Developed|W. J. Henderson
  • Did not Wagner himself recommend a budding bard to start his musical career with a Singspiel?

    The Opera|R.A. Streatfeild

British Dictionary definitions for singspiel


/ German (ˈzɪŋʃpiːl) /


a type of comic opera in German with spoken dialogue, popular during the late 18th and early 19th centuries

Word Origin for Singspiel

literally: singing play

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 singspiel



1876, from German Singspiel, literally "a singing play," from singen "to sing" (see sing (v.)) + Spiel "a play" (see spiel). Kind of performance popular in Germany late 18c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper