noun, plural sym·pho·nies.
- an elaborate instrumental composition in three or more movements, similar in form to a sonata but written for an orchestra and usually of far grander proportions and more varied elements.
- an instrumental passage occurring in a vocal composition, or between vocal movements in a composition.
- an instrumental piece, often in several movements, forming the overture to an opera or the like.
Origin of symphony
Examples from the Web for symphony
If Japanese whisky is like a symphony, then I am a contented listener.Watch Out, Scotland! Japanese Whisky Is on the Rise|Kayleigh Kulp|November 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Are you depressed, like me, that symphony orchestras are declaring bankruptcy, but Justin Bieber earned $58 million last year?The Smartest Book About Our Digital Age Was Published in 1929|Ted Gioia|January 5, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Amid the symphony of symbols, President Barack Obama succeeded.
The son of a French horn player in a symphony orchestra, he began playing the piano “against my will,” he laughs, at age 3.Shooting the Stars With Fashion Photographers Markus and Indrani|Abigail Pesta|November 25, 2012|DAILY BEAST
The Project exhibition commenced on July 4th coupled with a symphony performance in Austin, Texas where Trieb lives.War Photographer Trains Her Lens on Military Suicide at Home|Allison Yarrow|September 4, 2012|DAILY BEAST
Since then, he has restored the Symphony to its old-time glory.The World's Great Men of Music|Harriette Brower
And did he now sit himself down zealously and perseveringly to work on a ninth and tenth symphony?The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven, Volume II (of 3)|Alexander Wheelock Thayer
I imagine that he would have made a mouse-trap or built a cathedral exactly as he played a Beethoven symphony.Old Scores and New Readings|John F. Runciman
He doesnt care a fig about the symphony or about the Eternal Goya.The Shadow of Life|Anne Douglas Sedgwick
The grand piano was a splendid instrument, the symphony was well performed.Resurrection|Leo Tolstoy
British Dictionary definitions for symphony
noun plural -nies
Word Origin for symphony
Word Origin and History for symphony
late 13c., the name of various musical instruments, from Old French symphonie "harmony" (12c.), from Latin symphonia "a unison of sounds, harmony," from Greek symphonia "harmony, concert," from symphonos "harmonious," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + phone "voice, sound" (see fame (n.)).
Meaning "harmony of sounds" is attested from mid-15c.; sense of "music in parts" is from 1590s. "It was only after the advent of Haydn that this word began to mean a sonata for full orchestra. Before that time it meant a prelude, postlude, or interlude, or any short instrumental work." ["Elson's Music Dictionary"] Meaning "elaborate orchestral composition" first attested 1789 (symphonic in this sense is from 1864). Elliptical for "symphony orchestra" from 1926.
Culture definitions for symphony
An extended musical composition for orchestra in several movements, typically four. Among the composers especially known for their symphonies are Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Franz Josef Haydn, Gustav Mahler, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.