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From Latin monodia, from Ancient Greek μονῳδία (monōidía).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈmɒnədi/
  • (file)


monody (plural monodies)

  1. An ode, as in Greek drama, for a single voice, often specifically a mournful song or dirge. [from 17th c.]
  2. Any poem mourning the death of someone; an elegy. [from 17th c.]
  3. A monotonous or mournful noise. [from 19th c.]
    • 1911, Max Beerbohm, Zuleika Dobson:
      Stroke by stroke, the great familiar monody of that incomparable curfew rose and fell in the stillness.
  4. (music) A composition having a single melodic line. [from 19th c.]
    • 1938, Norman Lindsay, Age of Consent, 1st Australian edition, Sydney, N.S.W.: Ure Smith, published 1962, →OCLC, page 203:
      All directions in life were blocked to him. He could not think, he could not sleep, his heart thudded to a deadening monody of fear. Fear that is itself the penalty of all things feared.

Derived terms[edit]