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[rap-suh-dist] /ˈræp sə dɪst/
a person who rhapsodizes.
(in ancient Greece) a person who recited epic poetry, especially professionally.
1640-50; < Greek rhapsōid(ós) rhapsodist (rhaps-, variant stem of rháptein to stitch, + -ōid(ē) ode + -os noun suffix) + -ist
Related forms
rhapsodistic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for rhapsodist


a person who speaks or writes rhapsodies
a person who speaks with extravagant enthusiasm
Also rhapsode (ˈræpsəʊd). (in ancient Greece) a professional reciter of poetry, esp of Homer
Derived Forms
rhapsodistic, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for rhapsodist

1650s, from French rhapsodiste, from rhapsode, from Greek rhapsodos (see rhapsody).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for rhapsodist


a singer in ancient Greece. Ancient scholars suggested two etymologies. The first related the word with the staff (rhabdos) on which the singer leaned during his performance. In that view, the rhapsode is a "singer with a staff." The second connected the word with the poetic act of sewing (rhaptein) the poem (oide). Thus, the rhapsode is a "stitcher of songs." Modern scholars prefer the second etymology, which is attested in a fragment of Hesiod (7th century BC) and in Pindar's Nemean ode 2, lines 1-3. Both passages use the word rhaptein to describe the act of poetic composition. The noun rhapsoidosis is first found in 5th-century-BC inscriptions and literary sources, including Herodotus (History, Book V, part 67) and Sophocles (Oedipus Tyrannus, line 391).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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