α. OE sanc
, OE– (latterly Sc.
and north. dial.
), ME sange
. β. OE– song
, ME–15 songe
), 15–16 songue
Common Germanic: Old English sang , sǫng , = Old Frisian sang , song (West Frisian sang , East Frisian song , North Frisian sōng ), Middle Dutch sanc , zanc , etc. (Dutch zang ), Old Saxon (Middle Low German, Low German) sang , Old High German sanc , sang (German sang ), Old Norse sǫngr , sǫngv- (Icelandic söngur , Norwegian song , Swedish sång , Danish sang ), Gothic saggws < Germanic sangwaz , < the preterite stem of singwan
b. the Song of Solomon , Song of Songs, one of the books of the Old Testament.
Song of Sol.
Heer gynneth the booc that is clepid Songus [v.r. Song] of Songis.
The songue of Solomon.
1579 W. Fulke Heskins Parl. Repealed in 7
He nameth..the book of Psalmes,..and the Song of Salomon.
1611 Song of Sol. i. 1
The song of songs, which is Solomons.
1611 Song of Sol. i. 1
1781 T. Warton III. xxxvi. 317
There were numerous versions of Solomon's Song before the year 1600.
Song of Songs: or, Sacred Idyls. Translated from The Original Hebrew.
1856 S. Davidson ii. 19
The song of Deborah exhibits such [dialectal] appearances. So does the Song of Solomon.
1867 W. H. Smyth & E. Belcher 638
Song, the call of soundings by the leadsman in the channels.
d. Music. A musical setting or composition adapted for singing or suggestive of a song. song without words, an instrumental composition in the style of a song (after Mendelssohn's title ‘Lieder ohne Worte’); also transf.
1871 S. Smiles viii. 219
Cheerfulness..gives harmony of soul, and is a perpetual song without words.
1876 J. Stainer & W. A. Barrett 406/1
The second subject of a sonata is sometimes called the ‘Song’.
1883 III. 368/1
The Song, as we know it in his [Schubert's] hands,..set to no simple Volkslieder, but to long complex poems,..—such songs were his and his alone.
1883 R. Prentice ii. 95
The second movement [of a Beethoven sonata] is a veritable Song without Words.
Song without words, a term introduced by Mendelssohn to cover a type of one-movement pianoforte solo, throughout which a well-marked song-like melody progresses, with an accompaniment.
1974 XI. 902/1
She [sc. Fanny Mendelssohn] had herself written some of the Songs Without Words attributed to her brother.
e. transf. A sound as of singing.
That falling stream's Lethean song.
1877 3 Nov. 6
New troops without a military history, who have never heard the song of an enemy's bullets.
1895 J. C. Snaith xii,
The song of metal filled the room.
b. In phrases denoting continuance or change in statements, attitude, etc.
1390 J. Gower I. 260
Now schalt thou singe an other song.
1560 J. Daus tr. J. Sleidane f. cccxciijv,
It is the self same song, that hath ben songen now many yeres.
1707 E. Ward
It's the same old Song of Stark Love and Kindness, which they have pip'd to each other these many Years.
1786 R. Burns 34
She'll teach you, wi' a reekan whittle, Anither sang.
(at cited word),
He changed his song; he altered his account or evidence.
1822 Scott I. ii. 43
Let me catch ye in Barford's Park, I could gar some of ye sing another sang.
c. A fuss or outcry about something.
1843 II. 9
Thae convocation chiels that are makin' sic a sang aboot their sufferings.
1863 C. E. L. Riddell II. 157
She had foreborne likewise and no one made a song about it.
d. a song in one's heart , a feeling of joy or pleasure.
1930 L. Hart 4
With a song in my heart;—I behold your adorable face.
1946 9 Apr. 1807,
I will find, and find with a song in my heart, whatever money is necessary to finance useful and practical proposals for developing these areas.
1978 9 Jan. 13/1
Does the lending rate come down? Then every conservative owner-occupier has a song in his heart.
e. on (full) song , in good form, performing well. colloq.
1967 27 Dec. 10/1
The close and even spacing of the ratios..make it easy to keep the engine ‘on full song’ during hard driving.
1971 21 Aug. 16/1
As the table reveals, most of the leading unit trust managers have at least one fund that is ‘on song’.
1974 3 Feb. 24/5
Really on song since beating Manchester City in the Cup, Forest won 5–1.
1981 11 Apr. 23/2
If you are on song nothing will break your concentration.
Used to denote a very small or trifling sum, amount, or value, or a thing of little worth or importance. Freq. an old (also a mere) song
1798 W. Sotheby tr. C. M. Wieland ii. xxix. 53
Oh, fly, Sir! or your life's not worth a song!
1854 ‘M. Harland’ xxvi,
Some care, some responsibility—that is a mere song, though.
1879 ‘H. Stretton’ II. 208
It was a pretty place once, but now it's hardly worth an old song.
6. song and dance
b. fig. A rigmarole, an elaborately contrived story or entreaty, a fuss or outcry. Also attrib. colloq. (orig. U.S. slang). Cf. sense .
1895 E. W. Townsend 6
Den, 'is whiskers gives me a song an' dance.
1900 B. Matthews 9
And it ain't a song-and-dance I'm giving you either.
1913 R. Kipling
I don't see how this song and dance helps us any.
1922 S. Lewis xxxii. 375
George, what's this I hear about some song and dance you gave Colonel Snow about not wanting to join the G.C.L.?
1949 5 Sept. 2/3
Labor Leader Preble..was not impressed by ‘the song and dance about [Stefan's] mother and sister being persecuted and murdered’.
1958 E. Dundy iii. vi. 266
If only he hadn't felt obliged to make such a song and dance about it.
1967 ‘S. Woods’ 118
‘'Appen tha means well,’ he said, his speech suddenly broadened almost out of all recognition, ‘and 'appen tha's joost making a song and dance.’
1980 J. Ditton ii. ii. 132
The Prime Minister wants to make a song and dance about it.
song-box n. the syrinx of a bird.
1899 J. A. Thomson 187
The bird's song is nothing to the morphologist, except in so far as the anatomy of the syrinx or song-box is concerned.
[compare German liederzyklus]
a series of songs intended to form one musical entity, and having words dealing with related subjects.
1899 3 May 3/3
Two song-cycles made up his programme yesterday.
1942 E. Blom x. 168
Arthur Somervell's settings of poems from Tennyson's ‘Maud’, which have remained among the world's few great song-cycles.
1978 30 Mar. 412/4
A mature song-cycle by Dallapiccola.
song-flight n. (a) flight of a characteristic pattern made by a bird as it sings in a territorial display.
1936 Nicholson & Koch 9
Song-flight is an extra means of making the singer temporarily as conspicuous as possible.
1961 A. J. Berger vi. 186
Song, song flights, and other special displays serve an orientation function: they attract a female to the male's territory or to a nest site.
[translating German liedform]
Music a form used in the composition of songs; spec. the form of a simple melody with simple accompaniment or that of a work in three sections of which the third is a repetition of the first.
1884 R. Prentice 4
The simplest song-form is constructed on two or three sentences only.
1902 H. C. Banister i. 2
There is a term now in vogue to designate the simplest of all plans or forms: ‘Song-Form’ or ‘Aria-Form’.
1946 R. Blesh
The blues are essentially a song form.
The term ‘song form,’ derived from the German, has unfortunately been used by different writers with different significations. The vagueness which results and the fact that the term is not happily chosen gives rise to doubts whether it had not better be entirely abandoned.
1877 G. M. Hopkins
Not that the sweet-fowl, song-fowl, needs no rest.
song-hit n. colloq. a song which is a popular success.
1914 ‘High Jinks, Jr.’ 18
Song hit, a popular song.
1918 Feb. 83
All the song-hits of the moment.
1959 ‘F. Newton’ 9
Pop, pop music, popular entertainment music as typified by the ‘song-hit’.
song-motet n. a simple type of motet.
1942 H. Hewitt vi. 69
A few ‘song-motets’ find a place in the Odhecaton.
1974 Oct. 219
Some of his [sc. Dufay's] most elegant Latin compositions..are dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and their treble-dominated texture and lyrical charm—they resemble chansons in many ways—explain why they are called song-motets.
song-muscle n. (see quot. ).
1885 A. Newton in XVIII. 29
[As] by the action of the syringeal muscles..the sounds uttered by the Bird are modified, they are properly called the Song-muscles.
song-perch n. a place where a bird perches to sing, so as to establish its territory.
1934 XXVIII. 15
If a male is on his song perch when his hen quits her eggs, he usually follows her..to her feeding ground.
1975 I. Rowley v. 61
The kookaburra defends a large area, but in particular a number of song perches.
song period n. the part of the year during which the birds of a species sing.
1908 I. 367
In the middle of the song-period all the individuals of a species found in any locality sing every day.
1961 A. J. Berger vi. 171
Many species have a short song period (post-breeding) after the molt has been completed.
1927 22 Sept. 9/3
‘Clap Yo' Hands’ must have been song-plugged for ten minutes right off... ‘Do-Do-Do’ is another song-plugged number.
1927 May 433
Song-plugging thro' the ages.
1972 P. Black i. iii. 29
The song-plugging wave did not recede until 1948, when the BBC and the publishers managed to draw up an agreement.
1938 XXXI. 320
The habitat was on open grassy ground with stones and sallow bushes as ‘song posts’.
song stylist n. a singer admired for his or her style.
1938 15 June 6/7
Special guests will be..Miss Florence Clark, of Detroit, noted song stylist.
1973 24 Mar. 7/1
Elaine Brown, community activist..is also a musician, composer, lyricist and song stylist.
song-tide n. time of divine service.
1853 D. Rock III. ii. 14
If wayfaring..had hindered him from being with his brethren at public song-tide in the house of God.
song-voice n. the voice as used in the act of singing.
1842 XXII. 431/2
The glottis must be disciplined.., and proceed gradually from the song-voice to that of speech.
1763 J. Brown iv. 36
While these..Savages continue in their present unlettered State.., no material Improvements in their Song-Feasts can arise.
1881 Apr. 517
The bleak solitudes of the Song~land on the Border.
1944 C. Day Lewis vi. 61
The chief thing which poets took over from the song-lyric and preserved in the new lyrical poetry was..‘singleness of mind’.
1842 XXII. 429/1
Audible sound, which may possess the distinctions of song-notes (musical sounds).
1845 R. Browning
These scenes and song-scraps are such mere escapes of my inner power.
1947 A. Einstein xiv. 187
With Op. 24, the Heine song-sequence, he [sc. Schumann] began to write lieder.
1930 P. Geddes et al.
Song-sheet and welcomes.
1967 A. L. Lloyd i. 29
The countless Sorrowful Lamentations of hanged men did not become anchored in tradition..perhaps because the song-sheets bearing these effusions are of late appearance.
1876 G. M. Hopkins
So tiny a trickle of sóng-strain.
1845 W. Stevenson in I. 84
It is only from the full..heart that a song-stream of devotion can freely flow.
1884 R. Jefferies 60
The song-talk of the finches rises and sinks like the tinkle of a waterfall.
1885 XIX. 273/1
That true song-warble which we get in the stornelli and rispetti of the Italian peasants.
1947 A. Einstein xiv. 191
The procession of musicians who contributed to Romantic song-composition.
1713 N. Rowe Prol.,
Those venerable ancient Song-Enditers Soar'd many a Pitch above our modern Writers.
1733 8 Dec.
Clerks of kitchens, song-singers, horse-racers, valets-de-chambre.
1892 23 July 124/3
He places Herrick above Shakspeare as a song~wright.
1821 Mrs. Hemans in H. F. Chorley
This being my first appearance before the public as a song-writer.
1885 XIX. 273/1
His songs illustrate an infirmity which even the Scottish song-writers share with the English.
1743 P. Francis & W. Dunkin tr. Horace II. iii. x. 53
Thy Husband, who gives up his Heart for a Ditty To a Song-singing Wench.
1839 D. D. Black vii. 157
Zealous song-singing ladies.
1848 W. Allingham 26 Sept.
Dine at Peter Kelly's,..much song-singing afterwards.
1888 R. Buchanan ii,
Peasants and fishermen enjoyed his gifts of conversation and song-singing.
1772 J. Aikin
Essays on song-writing.
1809 Mar. 164/2,
I promise..method in my handling the theory and practice of song~writing.
1810 J. Aikin
Essays on Song-Writing.
1885 XIX. 273
Here, indeed, is the crowning difficulty of song-writing.
1947 A. Einstein iv. 35
The song-writing Berlin purists.
c1873 J. Addis
Circled with Mænads' song-timed, dance-timed bounds.
1859 Ld. Lytton
Take from the wall now, my song-tuned Lyre.
1937 E. Blunden 15
The flight of one small song-wild lark Finds heaven.
s - o - ng
|s||s||as in see|
|ɒ||o||as in pot, option|
|ŋ||ng||as in singing, think|
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This entry has not yet been fully updated (first published 1913).
In this entry:
In other dictionaries:
- My entries(1)
- Sonderbund, n.1847
- sonder-cloud, n.a1825
- Sonderkommando, n.1951
- sone, n.1616
- Sonerila, n.1846
- Soneryl, n.1923
- sonet, n.c1400
- son et lumière, n.1957
- sonetto, n.1589
- song, n.c825
- song-bird, n.1774
- song-book, n.c1000
- songer, n.c900
- songfest, n.1912
- songful, adj.a1400
- Songhai, n.1738
- Songish, n.1860
- songish, adj.1685
- songket, adj.1894
- songkok, n.1894
- Songkran, n.1727
- songle, n.1674
- songless, adj.a1806
- songlessness, n.1924
- songlet, n.1831
- songline, n.1858
- songly, adj.a1300
- songman, n.1603
- songo(w), v.1688
- song-school, n.1537
- song-smith, n.1795
- song-sparrow, n.1810
- songster, n.c1000
- songstress, n.1703
- song-thrush, n.1668
- songuary, n.1377
- songy, adj.1870
- sonhood, n.1602
- sonic, adj.1923
- sonica, n. and adv.1716