[sawng, song]
See more synonyms for song on
  1. a short metrical composition intended or adapted for singing, especially one in rhymed stanzas; a lyric; a ballad.
  2. a musical piece adapted for singing or simulating a piece to be sung: Mendelssohn's “Songs without Words.”
  3. poetical composition; poetry.
  4. the art or act of singing; vocal music.
  5. something that is sung.
  6. an elaborate vocal signal produced by an animal, as the distinctive sounds produced by certain birds, frogs, etc., in a courtship or territorial display.
  1. 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.
  1. Ai·ling [ahy-ling] /ˈaɪˈlɪŋ/. Soong, Ai-ling.
  2. Qing·ling [ching-ling] /ˈtʃɪŋˈlɪŋ/. Soong, Ching-ling.
  3. Mei·ling [mey-ling] /ˈmeɪˈlɪŋ/. Soong, Mei-ling.
  4. Zi·wen [zœ-wuhn] /ˈzœˈwʌn/. Soong, Tse-ven.
  5. Sung. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for song

Contemporary Examples of song

Historical Examples of song

  • And the wild ducklings are out on the pool, and the woods are full of song.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • I am considering them apart, and confining myself wholly to the words of the song.

  • He took the song from his pocket, and smoothed it out before her on the piano.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Listen to me, and I will show you how the song ought to have been sung.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Her heart ascended on a wave of thanks to the giver of song.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

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
  1. poetical composition; poetry
  2. the characteristic tuneful call or sound made by certain birds or insects
  3. the act or process of singingthey raised their voices in song
  4. for a song at a bargain price
  5. 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


  1. 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.