n. pl. sym·pho·nies
a. An extended piece in three or more movements for symphony orchestra.
b. An instrumental passage in a vocal or choral composition.
c. An instrumental overture or interlude, as in early opera.
a. A symphony orchestra.
b. An orchestral concert.
3. Harmony, especially of sound or color.
4. Something characterized by a harmonious combination of elements.
[Middle English symphonye, harmony, from Old French symphonie, from Latin symphōnia, from Greek sumphōniā, from sumphōnos, harmonious : sun-, syn- + phōnē, sound; see bhā-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus