Definition of lyrical in US English:



  • 1(of literature, art, or music) expressing the writer's emotions in an imaginative and beautiful way.

    ‘the poet's combination of lyrical and descriptive power’
    • ‘Far from a smutty provocation, the painting is unexpectedly lyrical.’
    • ‘Beamish's taut and lyrical music may even win new admirers.’
    • ‘Our music is lyrical, gritty and very original.’
    • ‘And even at its most splintered, the music remained intensely lyrical.’
    • ‘Still, this is, in the end, an above average Kreisleriana, especially effective in the more lyrical music.’
    • ‘The elegant and lyrical sculpture Tango, illustrated at right, is an icon of early twentieth-century American art.’
    • ‘But nevertheless, she has written emotionally charged music with lyrical directness.’
    • ‘Her poetry and prose quickly earned for her recognition as one of India's most lyrical and intellectually prolific writers.’
    • ‘The lyrical art writing of John Ashbery, Bill Berkson, and Peter Schjeldhal has obvious affinities with Pater's.’
    • ‘His music unites lyrical Romanticism with the rigours of Baroque and Classical forms.’
    • ‘Here the creaky melodrama is swept away by Tchaikovsky's lyrical music.’
    • ‘You cannot help notice the remarkable literary, almost lyrical, quality about the work.’
    • ‘He takes classes in musical theater, lyrical jazz, contemporary jazz, hip hop and funk.’
    • ‘A beautiful and lyrical middle interlude provides a brief respite amid music of unabating virtuosity.’
    • ‘Tim Albery's production of Wagner's classic story of growing up, featuring some of his most lyrical music.’
    • ‘A major influence in his lyrical visions is the writer Walt Whitman as signposted by the song ‘Leaves of Grass’.’
    • ‘You can find masters of any form, be it ballet, capoeira, flamenco or lyrical jazz.’
    • ‘We have Hysteria for the more lyrical music and Hysteria Underground for the harder, more underground vibe.’
    • ‘Everybody must have this recording in their collection: It is the most sublime music and sophisticated and lyrical jazz ever recorded.’
    • ‘This year, tap, ballet, and lyrical jazz will be offered for all levels of students.’
    songlike, lyric, melodic, musical, melodious, rhapsodic, poetic
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    1. 1.1 (of poetry or a poet) lyric.
      ‘Wordsworth's Lyrical Ballads’
      • ‘The accents are at times difficult to understand but add to the appeal of the production and transform Synge's dialogue into lyrical poetry.’
      • ‘There are even elements of The Beatles in some of the choral sections, while her major hero, David Bowie, is said to come through in her unexpected lyrical poetry.’
      • ‘He was portrayed as a brilliant lyrical poet, but an ineffectual dreamer whose poetry improved when he outgrew his youthful radicalism.’
      • ‘Are we prepared to take a step towards the thinking poet or the lyrical thinker, with the kind of concentration and pleasure in complexity that he deserves?’
      • ‘Since he writes neither drama nor epic, he said, his poetry can only be lyrical.’
      • ‘The conciseness of its language and the lyrical beauty of its poetry are unequated and it is recognised as one of the greatest literary and spiritual productions of India.’
      • ‘Yet Seferis survived all this, and the lyrical anguish of the poetry is his testament.’
      • ‘His poetry is neither traditional, nor audaciously experimental, but lyrical and contemporary in themes.’
      • ‘The show combines Jack's unique and spine tingling voice with the lyrical poetry of Jacques Brel and more than a touch of cabaret light and magic.’
      • ‘This poetry was lyrical, taking its inspiration from nature and the countryside, and is now generally disregarded as lifeless and conventional.’
      • ‘Jordan is a powerful, lyrical writer who explores dark places and finds transparent truths about guilt and innocence.’
      • ‘There is no gentle poetry, no lyrical love duet, no sword fighting, no nurse, no doll, no childhood.’
      • ‘His poetry is sometimes lyrical, sometimes sharply satirical.’
      • ‘It was during this period that he found his voice and produced his greatest lyrical poetry, including the personal manifesto to struggle and to love, A Cloud in Trousers.’
      • ‘Boxley Street in east London may not seem a natural source of lyrical poetry.’
      • ‘It also features some sublime lyrical poetry to boot.’
      • ‘On the other hand, Nero's love for lyrical poetry did not stop him from being a tyrant.’
      • ‘I Saw Ramallah is an intensely lyrical account of the poet's return to his hometown on the West Bank from protracted exile abroad.’
      • ‘Much of the debate of recent years has done serious damage to Burns' nature as a great lyrical and narrative poet.’
      • ‘But both her prose and her poetry were extremely lyrical.’
  • 2Relating to the words of a popular song.

    ‘the lyrical content of his songs’
    • ‘Also the environment you grow up in is bound to be reflected in the lyrical content of the songs you write.’
    • ‘These songs have a deceptive lyrical vacuity that hints at greater depths, but leaves them to the listener to consider.’
    • ‘Blimey, some of this recording is rather risqué - from the sultry photographs of Miss Phair that accompany the artwork to some of the lyrical content of the songs.’
    • ‘The way that I work piece by piece, I write as I go and one melody might instigate a counter melody and the emotional nature of a song might inspire the lyrical content.’
    • ‘Of course, when you listen to the record, you're left with more questions than answers, as the lyrical content is just as ambiguous as the song titles.’
    • ‘The folkier side of it comes out in the story-telling aspect of the song, the lyrical content.’
    • ‘In both cases, the melodic and lyrical thrust of the song is not lost in the new version - both work quite well in this refreshed context.’
    • ‘Further into the record, the band invests in smaller details, and when it does the songs overcome the lyrical shortcomings.’
    • ‘The Swordsmen's techno knob fiddling adds an effective acid house wash to the song's coy lyrical interplay.’
    • ‘There was a time when Malayalam drama and cinema songs had an inimitable lyrical and musical charm.’
    • ‘The story is in how Marshall attracts them, like you, with songs stripped of lyrical and musical artifice and a smoky, kool chick voice.’
    • ‘Calypso according to Duke is our current editorial in song, timely in lyrical content and rhythm and relevant to said time and place.’
    • ‘That stuff has given us more lyrical and song-based songs.’
    • ‘I ask Kelly if he has ever been embarrassed by singing a song due to its naked lyrical content.’
    • ‘The lyrical viewpoint of the song is bracing rather than saccharine or whiny.’
    • ‘Certain companies which aimed at making a fast buck in the festival market produced albums in haste, due to which the songs lacked lyrical and musical quality.’
    • ‘This 17-track collection features the Irish songs, ballads and lyrical legacy of colonial rule in Ireland.’
    • ‘With this horrifying statement, the song's lyrical content comes to an end.’
    • ‘If you're a fan of Les Claypool and his odd lyrical content and vocal styling, as well as great song writing, you will need to own this album.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, if your taste is more house music with DJ and hardly any lyrical content in the songs, then pick Seb Fontaine's album.’


  • wax lyrical

    • Talk in a highly enthusiastic and effusive way.

      ‘waxing lyrical about his splendid son-in-law’
      • ‘They launched an underwhelming campaign which consisted of a few posters and Packie Bonner unconvincingly waxing lyrical about the benefits of the tournament for Irish soccer.’
      • ‘The veteran financial guru invented mutual funds - the US equivalent of index trusts - and was in Edinburgh last week waxing lyrical about Scotland, the home of his forefathers.’
      • ‘In these pages last week, our art critic Iain Gale waxed lyrical - and certainly much more lyrically than I can ever wax - about the richness of the Demarco collection.’
      • ‘I really didn't think that the 5/8 position was as crucial as described by Ken while he was waxing lyrical about the potential for rugby league strategies to influence rugby union.’
      • ‘In all my rock literature perusing over the years, I really can't recall anyone waxing lyrical about ‘Face To Face’ as a stand-along thing, though they should have.’
      • ‘Dick Hyman is not one for waxing lyrical, but get him on the subject of his boyhood hero Bix Beiderbecke and the quiet American giant of jazz piano suddenly has plenty to say.’
      • ‘I'm equally grateful to Quarsan for waxing lyrical about one of my favourite periods in music - the post-punk era - and for maintaining some directly music-related content on this site.’
      • ‘Despite waxing lyrical in one repugnantly positive column about the African-American version of the KKK, the Black Panthers, this man feels free to see and condemn racism anywhere and everywhere.’
      • ‘It is approaching midnight in a cafe on the outskirts of Moscow and a group of enthusiasts are waxing lyrical on the subject of their favourite car, the Lada.’
      • ‘I mean, is it strictly necessary to emerge from the shower, grab a towel and commence a sawing action under your crotch while simultaneously waxing lyrical about Fairtrade bananas?’
      rave, be enthusiastic, gush, bubble over, effervesce, be effusive, rhapsodize, go into raptures
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