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From Latin dithyrambus, from Ancient Greek διθύραμβος (dithúrambos). According to the American Heritage Dictionary, it is of non-Indo-European origin (Pre-Greek substrate), related to θρίαμβος and ἴαμβος.[1] Brandenstein also compares Sanskrit अङ्ग (aṅga, member).[2]


English Wikipedia has an article on:

dithyramb (plural dithyrambs)

  1. A choral hymn sung in ancient Athens in honor of the god Dionysus.
  2. A poem or oration in the same style.
    • 1969, Robert Conquest, “George Orwell”, in Arias from a Love Opera, and Other Poems,[1] Macmillan, page 32,
      While those who drown a truth’s empiric part
      In dithyramb or dogma turn frenetic;
      — Than whom no writer could be less poetic
      He left this lesson for all verse, all art.



  1. ^ dithyramb” in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th edition, Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016, →ISBN.
  2. ^ Beekes, Robert S. P. (2010) Etymological Dictionary of Greek (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 10), with the assistance of Lucien van Beek, Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN