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

  • n. One who uses extravagantly enthusiastic or impassioned language.
  • n. One who recited epic and other poetry, especially professionally, in ancient Greece.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a rhapsode.
  • n. One who rhapsodizes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Anciently, one who recited or composed a rhapsody; especially, one whose profession was to recite the verses of Hormer and other epic poets.
  • n. Hence, one who recites or sings poems for a livelihood; one who makes and repeats verses extempore.
  • n. One who writes or speaks disconnectedly and with great excitement or affectation of feeling.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Among the ancient Greeks, one who composed, recited, or sang rhapsodies; especially, one who made it his profession to recite or sing the compositions of Homer and other epic poets.
  • n. One who recites or sings verses for a livelihood; one who makes and recites verses extempore.
  • n. One who speaks or writes with exaggerated sentiment or expression; one who expresses himself with more enthusiasm than accuracy or logical connection of ideas.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • We see, as well as hear, the "rhapsodist," whose sensitive performance of his part is nothing less than an "interpretation" of it, artist and critic at once: the personal vanities of the various speakers in his

    Plato and Platonism

  • You have not forgotten (interposed Antisthenes), perhaps, that besides yourself there is not a rhapsodist who does not know these epics?


  • Or rather, has not the question been already answered, for we have decided that one man cannot in his life play many parts, any more than he can act both tragedy and comedy, or be rhapsodist and actor at once?

    The Republic by Plato ; translated by Benjamin Jowett

  • On the other hand, his argument that Homer, if he had been able to teach mankind anything worth knowing, would not have been allowed by them to go about begging as a rhapsodist, is both false and contrary to the spirit of Plato (Rep.).

    The Republic by Plato ; translated by Benjamin Jowett

  • And I believe that we old men would have the greatest pleasure in hearing a rhapsodist recite well the Iliad and


  • And just as she had dreaded, a changed film business stopped making the movies she loved: if you doubt that, wonder what the rhapsodist of Last Tango in Paris (1972) would have thought of Bertolucci's gelid, pretty, and utterly danger-free The Dreamers (2003).

    Odd Couple

  • As to the origin of this song — whether it came in its actual state from the brain of a single rhapsodist, or was gradually perfected by a school or succession of rhapsodists, I am ignorant.

    Adam Bede

  • He is the blind Greek poet himself, the blind popular poet Seven Seas, the African griot or rhapsodist, the famous American painter Winslow H o m e r (with his paintings from the Atlantic Ocean), Virgil (the Roman counterpart to the Greek poet), and a blind barge-man who turns up on the stairs of the London church St. Martin-in-the-Fields with a manuscript refused by the editors.

    A Single, Homeless, Circling Satellite: Derek Walcott, 1992 Nobel Literature Laureate

  • ‘What signifies it,’ pursues this rhapsodist, ‘to women, that his reason disputes with them the empire, when his heart is devotedly theirs.’

    A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

  • Since none of us were digging with our own hands — the Thracians would always sell us their tribal enemies — Father was often short of pastime, and when a rhapsodist came our way he was glad to hear of it.

    The Praise Singer


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.