noun, plural rhap·so·dies.

  1. Music. an instrumental composition irregular in form and suggestive of improvisation.
  2. an ecstatic expression of feeling or enthusiasm.
  3. an epic poem, or a part of such a poem, as a book of the Iliad, suitable for recitation at one time.
  4. a similar piece of modern literature.
  5. an unusually intense or irregular poem or piece of prose.
  6. Archaic. a miscellaneous collection; jumble.

noun plural -dies

  1. music a composition free in structure and highly emotional in character
  2. an expression of ecstatic enthusiasm
  3. (in ancient Greece) an epic poem or part of an epic recited by a rhapsodist
  4. a literary work composed in an intense or exalted style
  5. rapturous delight or ecstasy
  6. obsolete a medley

1540s, “epic poem,” from Middle French rhapsodie, from Latin rhapsodia, from Greek rhapsoidia “verse composition, recitation of epic poetry; a book, a lay, a canto,” from rhapsodos “reciter of epic poems,” literally “one who stitches or strings songs together,” from rhaptein “to stitch, sew, weave” (see wrap (v.)) + oide “song” (see ode). Meaning “exalted enthusiastic feeling or expression” is from 1630s. Meaning “sprightly musical composition” is first recorded 1850s.

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