[ sim-fuh-nee ]
/ ˈsɪm fə ni /

noun, plural sym·pho·nies.

  1. an elaborate instrumental composition in three or more movements, similar in form to a sonata but written for an orchestra and usually of far grander proportions and more varied elements.
  2. an instrumental passage occurring in a vocal composition, or between vocal movements in a composition.
  3. an instrumental piece, often in several movements, forming the overture to an opera or the like.
a concert performed by a symphony orchestra.
anything characterized by a harmonious combination of elements, especially an effective combination of colors.
harmony of sounds.
Archaic. agreement; concord.

Origin of symphony

1250–1300; Middle English symfonye < Old French symphonie < Latin symphōnia concert < Greek symphōnía harmony. See sym-, -phony


pre·sym·pho·ny, noun, plural pre·sym·pho·nies.

Example sentences from the Web for symphony

British Dictionary definitions for symphony

/ (ˈsɪmfənɪ) /

noun plural -nies

Derived forms of symphony

symphonic (sɪmˈfɒnɪk), adjective symphonically, adverb

Word Origin for symphony

C13: from Old French symphonie, from Latin symphōnia concord, concert, from Greek sumphōnia, from syn- + phōnē sound

Cultural definitions for symphony


An extended musical composition for orchestra in several movements, typically four. Among the composers especially known for their symphonies are Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Franz Josef Haydn, Gustav Mahler, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.