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A melomaniac listening to music

English melo- (prefix meaning ‘music’) (from Ancient Greek μέλος (mélos, song; melody, tune)) +‎ -maniac (from French maniaque, from Late Latin maniacus, from Ancient Greek μανιακός (maniakós), an adjectival form of μανία (manía, madness; mad desire, compulsion), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *men- (to think)).[1]



melomaniac (plural melomaniacs)

  1. One with an abnormal fondness of music; a person who loves music. [from 19th c.]
    • 1850, Joseph C[lay] Neal, “Music Mad; or, The Melomaniac”, in Pic-nic Sketches, Dublin: Published by James M'Glashan, OCLC 28359736, page 213:
      He then amused himself with the fiddle—tried the French horn for a season, varying the matter by a few lessons upon the clarionet and hautboy, and finally improving his powers of endurance by a little practising of the Kent bugle. He at length became a perfect melomaniac, and was always in danger of being indicted as a nuisance by his less scientific neighbours, whose ears were doomed to suffer both by night and by day.
    • 1910, Robert Means Lawrence, “The Healing Influence of Music”, in Primitive Psycho-therapy and Quackery, Boston, Mass.; New York, N.Y.: Houghton Mifflin Company; The Riverside Press Cambridge [Mass.], OCLC 38957859, page 176:
      Of all the animals, the lions were apparently the most susceptible to musical influence, and these royal beasts showed an interest in the sweet tones of the graphophone, akin to that of a human melomaniac.
    • 1912, José Rizal; Charles Derbyshire, transl., “The Performance”, in The Reign of Greed: A Complete English Version of El Filibusterismo from the Spanish of José Rizal (Project Gutenberg; EBook #10676)‎[1], Manila: Philippine Education Company, published 10 October 2005 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 4655762, archived from the original on 2 July 2017, page 215:
      The truth was that Padre Irene, who was a melomaniac of the first degree and knew French well, had been sent to the theater by Padre Salvi as a sort of religious detective, or so at least he told the persons who recognized him.
    • 1919, Vicente Blasco Ibáñez; Frances Douglas, transl., “Bartering the Ancestral Name”, in The Dead Command [...] From the Spanish Los Muertos Mandan, New York, N.Y.: Duffield & Company, OCLC 645113133, page 63:
      A short time before he had gone to Baireuth to hear the Wagnerian operas, and now in the capital of Bavaria he attended the theater of the Residence, where the Mozart festival was celebrated. Jaime was not a melomaniac, but his vagrant existence forced him with the crowd, and his accomplishment as an amateur pianist had led him to make his musical pilgrimage for two consecutive years.
    • 1936, André Breton; David Gascoyne, transl., What is Surrealism? (Criterion Miscellany; no. 43), London: Faber and Faber, OCLC 950242194, pages 9–24; reprinted in Herschel B. Chipp, “Surrealism”, in Theories of Modern Art: A Source Book by Artists and Critics (California Studies in the History of Art), Berkeley; Los Angeles, Calif.; London: University of California Press, 1968, →ISBN, page 403:
      To these varying degrees of sensation correspond spiritual realizations sufficiently precise and distinct to allow me to accord to plastic expression a value that on the other hand I shall never cease to refuse to musical expression, the most deeply confusing of all. Auditive images, in fact, are inferior to visual images not only in clearness but also in strictness, and with all due respect to a few melomaniacs, they hardly seem intended to strengthen in any way the idea of human greatness.
    Synonyms: melomane, melophile, musicophile
    Antonym: melophobe

Related terms[edit]