[sawng, song]


a short metrical composition intended or adapted for singing, especially one in rhymed stanzas; a lyric; a ballad.
a musical piece adapted for singing or simulating a piece to be sung: Mendelssohn's “Songs without Words.”
poetical composition; poetry.
the art or act of singing; vocal music.
something that is sung.
an elaborate vocal signal produced by an animal, as the distinctive sounds produced by certain birds, frogs, etc., in a courtship or territorial display.

Nearby words

  1. sonderkommando,
  2. sondheim,
  3. sondheim, stephen joshua,
  4. sondra,
  5. sone,
  6. song and dance,
  7. song cycle,
  8. song form,
  9. song hong,
  10. song koi


    for a song, at a very low price; as a bargain: We bought the rug for a song when the estate was auctioned off.

Origin of song

before 900; Middle English song, sang, Old English; cognate with German Sang, Old Norse sǫngr, Gothic saggws

Related formssong·like, adjective



noun Pinyin.

Ai·ling [ahy-ling] /ˈaɪˈlɪŋ/. Soong, Ai-ling.
Qing·ling [ching-ling] /ˈtʃɪŋˈlɪŋ/. Soong, Ching-ling.
Mei·ling [mey-ling] /ˈmeɪˈlɪŋ/. Soong, Mei-ling.
Zi·wen [zœ-wuhn] /ˈzœˈwʌn/. Soong, Tse-ven. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for song

British Dictionary definitions for song



  1. a piece of music, usually employing a verbal text, composed for the voice, esp one intended for performance by a soloist
  2. the whole repertory of such pieces
  3. (as modifier)a song book
poetical composition; poetry
the characteristic tuneful call or sound made by certain birds or insects
the act or process of singingthey raised their voices in song
for a song at a bargain price
on song British informal performing at peak efficiency or ability
Derived Formssonglike, adjective

Word Origin for song

Old English sang; related to Gothic saggws, Old High German sang; see sing



the Pinyin transliteration of the Chinese name for Sung
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 song



Old English sang "voice, song, art of singing; metrical composition adapted for singing, psalm, poem," from Proto-Germanic *sangwaz (cf. Old Norse söngr, Norwegian song, Swedish sång, Old Saxon, Danish, Old Frisian, Old High German, German sang, Middle Dutch sanc, Dutch zang, Gothic saggws), from PIE *songwh-o- "singing, song," from *sengwh- "to sing, make an incantation" (see sing (v.)).

Phrase for a song "for a trifle, for little or nothing" is from "All's Well" III.ii.9 (the identical image, por du son, is in Old French. With a song in (one's) heart "feeling joy" is first attested 1930 in Lorenz Hart's lyric. Song and dance as a form of vaudeville act is attested from 1872; figurative sense of "rigmarole" is from 1895.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with song


In addition to the idiom beginning with song

  • song and dance

also see:

  • for a song
  • swan song
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.