Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Music An extended piece in three or more movements for symphony orchestra.
  • n. Music An instrumental passage in a vocal or choral composition.
  • n. Music An instrumental overture or interlude, as in early opera.
  • n. Music A symphony orchestra.
  • n. Music An orchestral concert.
  • n. Harmony, especially of sound or color.
  • n. Something characterized by a harmonious combination of elements.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. an extended piece of music of sophisticated structure, usually for orchestra
  • n. harmony in music or colour, or a harmonious combination of elements

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A consonance or harmony of sounds, agreeable to the ear, whether the sounds are vocal or instrumental, or both.
  • n. A stringed instrument formerly in use, somewhat resembling the virginal.
  • n.
  • n. An elaborate instrumental composition for a full orchestra, consisting usually, like the sonata, of three or four contrasted yet inwardly related movements, as the allegro, the adagio, the minuet and trio, or scherzo, and the finale in quick time. The term has recently been applied to large orchestral works in freer form, with arguments or programmes to explain their meaning, such as the “symphonic poems” of Liszt. The term was formerly applied to any composition for an orchestra, as overtures, etc., and still earlier, to certain compositions partly vocal, partly instrumental.
  • n. An instrumental passage at the beginning or end, or in the course of, a vocal composition; a prelude, interlude, or postude; a ritornello.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A consonance or harmony of sounds agreeable to the ear, whether the sounds are vocal or instrumental, or both.
  • n. In music: Same as symphonia, 2.
  • n. Same as ritornelle.
  • n. An elaborate composition in three or more movements, essentially similar in construction to a sonata, but written for an orchestra, and usually of far grander proportions and more varied elements.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a large orchestra; can perform symphonies
  • n. a long and complex sonata for symphony orchestra

Etymologies

Middle English symphonye, harmony, from Old French symphonie, from Latin symphōnia, from Greek sumphōniā, from sumphōnos, harmonious : sun-, syn- + phōnē, sound.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek συμφωνία. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I don't know if the mother I saw at the symphony is a failure.

    Sound Politics: School shooting

  • The symphony is often very quiet but still filled with the rhythmic and spiritual elements one has come to expect from Pärt.

    Let It Rock

  • The symphony is undoubtedly a major orchestral work from a composer who is not known for them.

    Let It Rock

  • Still, the symphony is informed by his predecessors and Conlon made a best case argument for its very classical style.

    Stomp me if you've heard this one before

  • Still, there was something going around in the mid to late 90's in the gaming industry that doesn't really seem as prevalent today: Outrageous, preposterous ambitions to cram a complete history of everything into every plot point, every gameplay system, every FMV sequence ... it was like the late Romantic period at the turn of the 1900's, where Gustav Mahler could say "To write a symphony is to construct the world" and mean it.

    Great Big Bites

  • Fingers, a composer facing writer's block when it comes to his symphony, is despondent.

    Michael Giltz: Theater: New York Musical Festival (NYMF) Roundup

  • It's a race, not only because the symphony is unfinished yet schedule to debut in less than a month, but because Reuben is going deaf.

    Rabid Reads: "Lanceheim" by Tim Davys

  • Even the most adventurous Mozart symphony is still at least as structurally formulaic as an Indiana Jones movie, and often much more so.

    Archive 2008-06-01

  • She knows what the neighbors are cooking, she can smell the garlic and coriander, hear the stirring of pots, a tin symphony beneath her.

    LA Times Series on Life in Cairo, #2: Viewing Life from the Roof

  • You and I both know your little symphony is all washed up.

    The envelopes

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Comments

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  • JM extends his symphony to all lovers of classical music.

    May 25, 2011