Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A frenzied, impassioned choric hymn and dance of ancient Greece in honor of Dionysus.
  • noun An irregular poetic expression suggestive of the ancient Greek dithyramb.
  • noun A wildly enthusiastic speech or piece of writing.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A form of Greek lyric composition, originally a choral song in honor of Dionysus, afterward of other gods, heroes, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A kind of lyric poetry in honor of Bacchus, usually sung by a band of revelers to a flute accompaniment; hence, in general, a poem written in a wild irregular strain.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A choral hymn sung in ancient Athens in honor of the god Dionysus.
  • noun A poem or oration in the same style.

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

  • noun a wildly enthusiastic speech or piece of writing
  • noun (ancient Greece) a passionate hymn (usually in honor of Dionysus)

Etymologies

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

[Latin dīthyrambus, from Greek dīthurambos.]

Examples

  • The dithyramb is a chant in chorus in honour of a god or a hero.

    Initiation into Literature

  • His last letter is a kind of dithyramb about "Lohengrin," which naturally predisposes me favourably towards the man.

    Correspondence of Wagner and Liszt

  • This dithyramb had a specific provocation: “While I was at Harvard,” she wrote with grave alarm, “I saw Professors smoking cigarettes.”

    LAST CALL

  • This dithyramb had a specific provocation: “While I was at Harvard,” she wrote with grave alarm, “I saw Professors smoking cigarettes.”

    LAST CALL

  • This man was a harper second to none of those who then lived, and the first, so far as we know, who composed a dithyramb, naming it so and teaching it to a chorus at Corinth.

    Archive 2007-07-01

  • This man was a harper second to none of those who then lived, and the first, so far as we know, who composed a dithyramb, naming it so and teaching it to a chorus at Corinth.

    Fish Story

  • With that, wallow in dithyramb and eulogy, and the second edition shall vanish like smoke.

    A Distinguished Provincial at Paris

  • The fifth book commences in a sort of dithyramb with another and higher preamble about the honour due to the soul, whence are deduced the duties of a man to his parents and his friends, to the suppliant and stranger.

    Laws

  • Besides outdoing in dithyramb what ABN does in Spanish, besides being equally forgetful of historical planning and delays, it errs quite a lot on the historical context.

    Sex, lies and railroads video tapes: Chavez’s magical realism

  • Besides outdoing in dithyramb what ABN does in Spanish, besides being equally forgetful of historical planning and delays, it errs quite a lot on the historical context.

    10/15/2006 - 10/22/2006

Comments

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  • 1. A frenzied, impassioned choric hymn and dance of ancient Greece in honor of Dionysus. 2. An irregular poetic expression suggestive of the ancient Greek dithyramb. 3. A wildly enthusiastic speech or piece of writing.

    May 25, 2007

  • A wild poem in which the poet alternates between dithering and rambling.

    (Timothy Train)

    July 23, 2008