[ sohl-fah, sohl-fah ]
/ ˌsoʊlˈfɑ, ˈsoʊlˌfɑ /


Music. the set of syllables, do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, and ti, sung to the respective tones of the scale. All but do and ti are attributed to Guido d'Arezzo.
the system of singing tones to these syllables.

verb (used without object), sol-faed, sol-fa·ing.

to use the sol-fa syllables in singing, or to sing these syllables.

verb (used with object), sol-faed, sol-fa·ing.

to sing to the sol-fa syllables, as a tune.

Nearby words

Origin of sol-fa

1560–70; sol1 + fa; see gamut
Related formssol-fa·ist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sol-fa

British Dictionary definitions for sol-fa


/ (ˈsɒlˈfɑː) /


short for tonic sol-fa

verb -fas, -faing or -faed

US to use tonic sol-fa syllables in singing (a tune)

Word Origin for sol-fa

C16: see gamut
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 sol-fa



"syllables used in solmization taken collectively," 1540s, from Italian, from Medieval Latin sol and fa, two notes of the musical scale (see gamut). As a verb from 1560s; cf. solfeggio "use the sol-fa system" (1774), from Italian solfeggiare.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper