8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary
mid-15c.; see descant (n.). Sense of "to comment at length" is first attested 1640s.
(from Latin discantus, "song apart"), countermelody either composed or improvised above a familiar melody. Descant can also refer to an instrument of higher-than-normal pitch, such as a descant recorder. In late medieval music, discantus referred to a particular style of organum featuring one or more countermelodies added to a newly rhythmicized plainsong melody. Discantus in this sense is usually spelled discant in English translation