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From Italian arioso (airy, breezy) (from aria (air; aria, song) (from Ancient Greek ᾱ̓ήρ (āḗr, air; wind), possibly ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ews- (dawn; east)) + -oso)[1] +‎ -ose.



ariose (comparative more ariose, superlative most ariose)

  1. (music) Melodic and song-like.
    Antonym: recitative
    Much easy-listening music is light and ariose.
    • [1863, John Ogilvie, “ARIOSE”, in The Imperial Dictionary, English, Technological, and Scientific, on the Basis of Webster’s English Dictionary, [], volume I, London; Glasgow; Edinburgh: Blackie and Son, [], OCLC 13134839, page 29:
      AR′IŌSE, a. [From arioso.] Characterized by melody, as distinguished from harmony; as, the ariose beauty of Handel.]
    • 1873 May 17, “Mr. Paine’s Oratorio. (From the New York World, March 31.) ST. PETER; An Oratorio. The Words Selected from the Bible, and the Music Composed by John Knowles Paine. Boston: Oliver Ditson & Co. 1873.”, in [John Sullivan Dwight], editor, Dwight’s Journal of Music, volume XXXIII, number 3 (number 837 overall), Boston, Mass.: Oliver Ditson & Co., OCLC 658885695, page 21, column 1:
      In the promise of Jesus, "Upon this rock will I build my church," the recitative is succeeded by ariose, and then by the triumphant base aria of Peter, the dramatic being reached in the C major chorus, "The Church is built." [] In the opening passages [of the second scene] of mingled recitative and ariose Peter is forewarned that he shall deny his master, and his half-indignant remonstrance is seconded by the voices of the other disciples.
    • 2016, Bill Broun, Night of the Animals: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Ecco Press, →ISBN:
      He tried to speak in an ariose, teasing manner, not wanting to offend his charge.
    • 2016, Mark Greif, “Radiohead, or the Philosophy of Pop”, in Against Everything: Essays, New York, N.Y.: Pantheon Books, →ISBN, section III, page 112:
      The question becomes why certain settings in music, and a certain playing of simple against more complex lyrics, can remake debased language and restore the innocence of emotional expression. (Opera singers know this, in the ariose transformations of "Un bel dì" [One fine day] or "O mio babbino caro" [Oh my dear papa]. But then opera criticism, too, has a long-standing problem with lyrics.)


Related terms[edit]



  1. ^ ariose” in Merriam–Webster Online Dictionary.




  1. feminine plural of arioso