Definition of Gregorian chant in English:

Gregorian chant


  • [mass noun] Church music sung as a single vocal line in free rhythm and a restricted scale (plainsong), in a style developed for the medieval Latin liturgy.

    • ‘The early music section contains many rare finds, from Gregorian chant to Monteverdi.’
    • ‘No one would deny the transcendent beauty of Gregorian chant, the majesty of Gothic cathedrals, the classical clarity of Mozart and Haydn Masses.’
    • ‘This holiday celebration began in the morning, with clergy clad in white vestments and a choir singing Gregorian chant.’
    • ‘The importance, spiritual power and beauty of the great body of Gregorian chant cannot be over emphasized.’
    • ‘It would be laughable to say that Gregorian chant and Beethoven's Missa Solemnis are the same music, though it would also be folly to suggest that the earlier had no effect upon the later.’


Mid 18th century: named after St Gregory the Great (in Latin Gregorius), who is said to have standardized it.


Gregorian chant