descantest

descant

[n., adj. des-kant; v. des-kant, dis-]
noun
1.
Music.
a.
a melody or counterpoint accompanying a simple musical theme and usually written above it.
b.
(in part music) the soprano.
c.
a song or melody.
2.
a variation upon anything; comment on a subject.
adjective
3.
(Music chiefly British)
a.
soprano: a descant recorder.
b.
treble: a descant viol.
verb (used without object)
4.
Music. to sing.
5.
to comment or discourse at great length.
Also, discant.


Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English discant, descaunt < Anglo-French < Medieval Latin discanthus, equivalent to Latin dis- dis-1 + cantus song; see chant

descanter, noun
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World English Dictionary
descant
 
n
1.  Also: discant a decorative counterpoint added above a basic melody
2.  a comment, criticism, or discourse
 
adj
3.  Also: discant of or pertaining to the highest member in common use of a family of musical instruments: a descant recorder
 
vb (often foll by on or upon) (often foll by on or upon)
4.  Also: discant to compose or perform a descant (for a piece of music)
5.  to discourse at length or make varied comments
 
[C14: from Old Northern French, from Medieval Latin discantus, from Latin dis-1 + cantus song; see chant]
 
des'canter
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

descant
late 14c., from Anglo-Fr. deschaunt, from M.L. discantus "refrain, part-song," from L. dis- "asunder, apart" + cantus "song." Spelling was partly Latinized 16c. Originally "counterpoint;" sense of "talk at length" is first attested 1640s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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