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melody

[mel-uh-dee] /ˈmɛl ə di/
noun, plural melodies.
1.
musical sounds in agreeable succession or arrangement.
2.
Music.
  1. the succession of single tones in musical compositions, as distinguished from harmony and rhythm.
  2. the principal part in a harmonic composition; the air.
  3. a rhythmical succession of single tones producing a distinct musical phrase or idea.
3.
a poem suitable for singing.
4.
intonation, as of a segment of connected speech.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English melodie < Medieval Latin melōdia < Greek melōidía (choral) singing, equivalent to mel- (see melic) + -ōid- (see ode) + -ia -y3
Related forms
melodyless, adjective
undermelody, noun, plural undermelodies.
Can be confused
malady, melody.
Synonyms
1. See harmony. 2. tune, song, descant, theme.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for undermelody

melody

/ˈmɛlədɪ/
noun (pl) -dies
1.
(music)
  1. a succession of notes forming a distinctive sequence; tune
  2. the horizontally represented aspect of the structure of a piece of music Compare harmony (sense 4b)
2.
sounds that are pleasant because of tone or arrangement, esp words of poetry
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from Late Latin melōdia, from Greek melōidia singing, from melos song + -ōidia, from aoidein to sing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for undermelody

melody

n.

late 13c., from Old French melodie "music, song, tune" (12c.), from Late Latin melodia, from Greek meloidia "a singing, a chanting, choral song, a tune for lyric poetry," from melos "song, part of song" (see melisma) + oide "song, ode" (see ode).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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