Definition of lyric in English:



  • 1(of poetry) expressing the writer's emotions, usually briefly and in stanzas or recognized forms.

    ‘lyric poems of extraordinary beauty’
    • ‘Provenal literature in the medieval period consisted chiefly of the lyric poetry composed by the troubadours for the feudal courts of the Midi, northern Italy, and Spain.’
    • ‘Indeed, ‘Weeping Branch’ might well be a response to Adorno's famous question: how can one write lyric poetry after Auschwitz?’
    • ‘For both writers, charm is more than music: it signifies the power of truthful expression in lyric poetry and polemical prose.’
    • ‘There is something special about poetry and about lyric poetry in particular, but it's not what most people think.’
    • ‘Setting poems by John Keats and William Wordsworth, Braithwaite developed a love of lyric poetry that inspired his own writing.’
    • ‘Such confusions are, of course, the great subject of lyric poetry.’
    • ‘Granted, the poets had the advantage of including among their number Matt Miller, an aspiring writer of lyric verse who happened to have been a defensive starter at Yale five years ago.’
    • ‘This coincidence naturally included Traherne in Modernist studies of lyric poetry.’
    • ‘While lyric poetry in English has not been without its private contrivances or tropes of conquest, for the most part its ontology has been one of engagement.’
    • ‘Fourier's thought seems readymade for translation into lyric poetry, full as it is with the promise of love, harmony, and nature's bounty.’
    • ‘A case could be made for thinking (and the publishing history of the work would support it) that Shakespeare's best poetry, even his best lyric poetry, is to be found in his plays.’
    • ‘Thus, in a number of discussions, I may have shown a little too much brain to one of my tennis partners, a writer of lyric poetry.’
    • ‘Despite the fact that it deals with an earlier period of verse, the book locates both male and female-authored lyric poetry as merely one half of the dialogue of early modern courtship.’
    • ‘Next, Sir Thomas Wyatt, Henry Howard, earl of Surrey, and Sir Philip Sidney reanimated English lyric poetry and rekindled the sonnet as the vehicle of eloquent and classical creativity.’
    • ‘In doing so, he demonstrates quite coherently and cogently that genuine lyric poetry is far from dead, that it is inventive and individual as it ever was.’
    • ‘Walker traces the history of ancient rhetoric to a common root with lyric poetry.’
    • ‘Prior to this decline, however, lyric poetry lends itself exceedingly well to the parameters of praise and blame.’
    • ‘The Greek writers of lyric poetry are separated from the Latin poets he considers his own.’
    • ‘Focusing on lyric poetry, Bertram's model examines the dialogic interaction between the poem and the reader.’
    • ‘Similarly, he considers the necessity of lyric poetry going into print after 1645 instead of remaining in manuscript form.’
    melodic, songlike, musical, melodious, lyrical, rhapsodic, poetic
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    1. 1.1Denoting a writer of lyric poetry.
      ‘the lyric poets of Ancient Greece’
      • ‘Famed in his day as patriot, satirist, and foe to tyranny, Marvell was virtually unknown as a lyric poet.’
      • ‘Andrews assumes that the lyric poet's freedom to dissent is only the freedom to say ‘yes’ to the American ideology - individualism.’
      • ‘Fitzgerald, a fine lyric poet, neglected today, was able to accommodate his gifts to the buoyancy and basic serenity of the Odyssey.’
      • ‘DAVID CAMPBELL was first and foremost a lyric poet.’
      • ‘For Chernaik, the figure is not Shelley himself, but a stylized portrait of the lyric poet that recurs in much of Shelley's poetry.’
      • ‘Bogan suffered its loss profoundly, while attempting to understand it as the pattern of the lyric poet's life.’
      • ‘Friedrich Hölderlin is today regarded as one of the greatest lyric poets in the German tongue.’
      • ‘Bloom's Kinsella is, above all, a poet in the lyric tradition.’
      • ‘For Hegel, the lyric poet can only ever be an unhappy consciousness condemned to irony, a self-seeker simultaneously the agent of self-displacement.’
      • ‘He is working on a translation of the German lyric poet Rainer Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus and on music projects with Scottish piano player Steve Hamilton, who lives in Sofia.’
      • ‘And I think there is no other lyric poet who even approaches Robert Burns but study of him seems very rare in English literature courses as far as I am aware.’
      • ‘The poem as philosophical-historical sundial clearly applies to great European lyric poets such as Rilke and Celan.’
      • ‘Film scholar Stanley Kauffmann describes Ozu as ‘a lyric poet whose lyrics swell quietly into the epic.’’
      • ‘Like the best of Larkin, it does the most difficult thing on earth for a lyric poet to do.’
      • ‘But, however it was encountered, Italian - and specifically Petrarchan - poetry did have a profound effect upon Wyatt and subsequent lyric poets.’
      • ‘I had heard a good deal about Holderlin, that he was the great nineteenth - century lyric poet of Germany.’
      • ‘I ask da Costa if he is a romantic, knowing from experience that all lyric poets are to some extent tethered by desire - using poetry to write their way through the challenges of the human condition.’
      • ‘A lyric poet like Thomas had only one material, his own private life and feelings, which he explored with reckless honesty, and outside the poems obsessively guarded its details.’
      • ‘No lyric poet has been her equal for the intensity and variety of subjective states dramatized.’
      • ‘These give off the feel of man and earth as a lesson for the anguished lyric poet.’
  • 2(of a singing voice) using a light register.

    ‘a lyric soprano with a light, clear timbre’
    • ‘She gained a reputation as being incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about anything opera and her luscious lyric soprano voice blossomed.’
    • ‘My only problem is that the softly brushed texture of this lovely lyric soprano was never meant to do heavy verismo duty at any time during a long career.’
    • ‘Common consensus was that, as a lyric baritone, his voice was too light but he kept persisting.’
    • ‘SI, on the other hand, seeks a collective production rather than the individual lyric voice.’
    • ‘As a refusal to abstract, the lyric voice is crucial to democracy and crucial to life.’
    • ‘The role of Offred herself is double cast, with a mezzo-soprano singing the Offred of the Republic and a lyric soprano singing the role of Offred in the time before.’
    • ‘Earlier in Freni's career she was primarily a lyric soprano, and even sang coloratura roles such as Elvira in Bellini's I Puritani.’
    • ‘The children's mother, Lisa, an accomplished lyric soprano with a degree in vocal music, provided a musically nurturing environment for the siblings to study piano.’
    • ‘This she does with a voice that gains additional expression and color as the portrait deepens, a smoothly textured, fully integrated lyric soprano of ample size and flexibility.’
    • ‘Regina has sung major lyric soprano roles throughout Europe including Madrid, Brussels, Hamburg & Geneva.’
    • ‘Again, it is a surprise to us that she attempted it at all, even though the producer of the broadcast was looking to prove a theory about Isolde being a role for a lyric soprano.’
    • ‘Although the tenor blew out his lovely lyric voice years ago, long before his bout with and recovery from leukemia, that doesn't seem to bother his fans.’
    • ‘The prestigious opera magazine OPERA NOW describes Ailish's voice as ‘A lyric voice of delicious purity’.’
    • ‘As we began working with the keys in which her songs were written, she simply poked around on the piano with her pointer finger, singing the scales with her lovely lyric voice.’
    • ‘He has all the notes and is the possessor of a lyric tenor voice.’
    • ‘In the concluding ‘Wunderhorn’ song, Ying Huang sang with musicality and charm in a soaring lyric soprano voice.’
    • ‘However, the principals' lyric voices are not, on the face of it, weighty enough for the roles of Leonora and Manrico.’
    • ‘It was very unusual - I was the first - for a lyric tenor to sing all those notes in full voice.’
    • ‘Thomas, a fierce lyric voice, was born in 1913 and died at the age of 87 in 2000.’
    • ‘Chelsea Opera Group were performing the opera in English and though Richardson displayed a beautiful lyric voice, she rather swallowed her words.’
    light, silvery, clear, lilting, flowing, dulcet, euphonious, sweet, sweet-toned, sweet-sounding, honeyed, mellifluous, mellow, lyrical
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  • 1A lyric poem or verse.

    ‘an edition of Horace's Lyrics’
    • ‘Do you feel that you, like many other contemporary innovative or ‘experimental’ women writers, are contributing to a new form of the lyric?’
    • ‘At the same time, it discusses the nature of the lyric.’
    • ‘Britzolakis writes that ‘Plath reinvents the lyric as the vehicle for a crisis of subjectivity which cannot be confined to a biographical narrative’.’
    • ‘But a song may look like nothing at all, or it may look disappointing, and still be a great lyric.’
    • ‘Typical of her verse, this short lyric combines colloquial and archaic vocabulary to localize most of its diction for the imagined audience and yet evoke the language of the English Romantics.’
    • ‘And right on the next page you have ‘The Butterfly’, an exquisite lyric that reminds you of Cummings at his inspired best.’
    • ‘Or to put it another way, I want to borrow from the concrete world and project it into the realm of the abstract, where the lyric exists.’
    • ‘I was not satisfied with the lyric alone, supreme as it may seem in its moment: a voice speaking directly, intimately to us from any time and place.’
    • ‘Interpreting a poem as a symptom or instance of features of the lyric, for example, might be unsatisfactory hermeneutics but a useful contribution to poetics.’
    • ‘And each string was a different poem, a different lyric organized around a distinct, intense emotion.’
    • ‘‘Laus Veneris’ for example is a sophisticated dramatic lyric.’
    • ‘For Welish, the seasoned experimentalist, a central question which has never lost its urgency hinges upon what the lyric can comprehend, what it can grasp in its shifting abode.’
    • ‘The composition of personal lyric was a secondary consideration for the bard, an affectation for pleasure and reflection.’
    • ‘I think and sleep with the idea for a long time before it takes the shape of a poem or lyric.’
    • ‘In this way Corey arrives at a critical use of the lyric by occupying the split between aesthetic pleasure and the trauma that is necessarily excluded.’
    • ‘There is, in fact, no more adroit explainer in our poetry than Pinsky, who lifts the analytic lyric to sometimes sublime heights.’
    • ‘The lyric wants muscle but it also wants size; no poem, however small, wants to be small.’
    • ‘The moment the critic thinks of a lyric, she is thinking not only about how it is immersed in conditions for thought but also how it allegorizes them.’
    • ‘In the lyric that follows, the speaker imagines himself as a being contented to be a guest and a stranger, committed to coexistence with other guests and strangers.’
    • ‘His verse is both metrically and formally experimental, ranging from satire to love lyric, from sonnet to verse epistle, from elegy to hymn.’
    poetry, versification, metrical composition, rhythmical composition, rhyme, rhyming, balladry, doggerel
    poem, piece of poetry, lyric, sonnet, ode, limerick, rhyme, composition, metrical composition, piece of doggerel
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    1. 1.1[mass noun]Lyric poetry as a literary genre.
      ‘stylistic categories fundamental to literary aesthetics—epic, lyric, drama, comedy, tragedy’
      • ‘My own work on poetry has focused on the Western European tradition of lyric.’
      • ‘Abbuehl's singing relies on texture for expression rather than melodic embellishment; she obviously delights in the poetry of the lyric, hence her interest in cummings and Robert Creeley.’
      • ‘They are also already more interesting than they usually are, for construing lyric as a sort of thought about matter advances poetics in many ways.’
      • ‘Lopate understands it is neither the self as exhibitionist nor the structure of narrative competing with lyric that dulls contemporary poems.’
      • ‘By structuring the course around questions of genre migration, world literature allows students to think about the novel, epic, and lyric in a diachronic, global framework.’
      • ‘Nor is it obvious that unrequitedness resonates in Petrarchan lyric in quite the way it does in the literature of American conquest.’
      • ‘I propose that we teach lyric, that we compare poetry.’
      • ‘Levis saw among his generation of poets a ‘new homelessness,’ which meant a lack of identity he saw best attended by a poetry more narrative than lyric.’
      • ‘All these elements belong within the framework of the lyric, rather than dramatic, tradition.’
      • ‘Some people think the hexameter line comes from the lyric, from rhythmic phrases put together, usually three phrases in a line.’
      • ‘At which point the traditional antinomies of lyric and epic may be invoked only as skirmishers in the move from the discrete poem to the interconnected book.’
      • ‘In the context of elegy and of lyric, however, this marks a distinct departure, and one that acquires weight as print becomes a commodity consumed by unknown readers.’
      • ‘Conditions for the survival of the lyric would seem as favorable now as they ever were.’
      • ‘Well, what less would you expect of a man who studied English literature to ‘understand lyric better’?’
      • ‘Through its use of the ekphrastic frame, then, epic distances itself from the subjectivizing emotion of lyric by placing the absorptive image at one remove from the narrative proper.’
      • ‘Galician lyric and courtly poetry flourished until the middle of the fourteenth century.’
      • ‘For those who don't know it it's a fabulous song based on a naive melody and a haiku (a western or American haiku) like lyric.’
      • ‘The association of weaving and lyric, its roots in Western literature ancient, has a profoundly material basis in the relation between the bodily rhythm of weaving and that of song.’
      • ‘To pursue the idea that the interest of lyric is linked with a certain performative voicing, let me move from a poete maudit to a priestly poet.’
  • 2The words of a popular song.

    ‘she has published both music and lyrics for a number of songs’
    • ‘Her songs will always have lyrics pertaining to the dilemmas and battles fought during the episode.’
    • ‘The production features all Bizet's original music with new lyrics in English.’
    • ‘Is it because I'm just bored of nursery rhymes and these have easily remembered lyrics?’
    • ‘Occasionally in life we come across a piece of art, a tune or a lyric, a poem or a piece of writing that immediately grabs our attention, and keeps us enthralled.’
    • ‘Composers set countless lyrics to music, and opera depended upon the poetry of the libretto.’
    • ‘In the second verse, the ad leaves out some of the spoken word or background lyrics of the song.’
    • ‘The colours are bright, the music uptempo and the lyrics consistently engaging here.’
    • ‘What's your favorite quote, verse, lyric or poem?’
    • ‘Anyone who finds the golden fish will have their music or lyrics recorded by the star.’
    • ‘Susanna is printing off the lyrics to Spanish songs and giving them to me.’
    • ‘Entries can be in the form of an innovative new song, fresh lyrics to an existing tune or a chant.’
    • ‘Melody after melody, lyric after lyric, song after song emerged, far more than she either needed or knew what to do with.’
    • ‘The mathematical rhythms and yearning lyrics of Tagore's songs are hard to resist.’
    • ‘But in a funny way our very brains are the things we use to compose lyrics and we draw on things to write songs.’
    • ‘She shows you lyrics and sheet music, and you quickly see why she loves Sinatra so much.’
    • ‘He knew I was a musician and they desperately needed somebody to put music to lyrics.’
    • ‘Meg just threw me a list of songs with questionable lyrics that she found on the web.’
    • ‘It took such a long time to finish the lyrics; we had the first verses and the chorus, and then it just stopped.’
    • ‘She believes that the lyrics of modern rock songs and rap music make sense.’
    • ‘The finest of art is comparable to lyrics that haunt the inner mind, lingering on the ear.’
    words, libretto, book, text, lines
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Late 16th century: from French lyrique or Latin lyricus, from Greek lurikos, from lura lyre.