descant

  • 1 Descant — or discant can refer to several different things in music, depending on the period in question; etymologically, the word means a voice (cantus) above or removed from others. A discant (occasionally, particularly later, written descant) is a form… …

    Wikipedia

  • 2 Descant — Des cant (d[e^]s k[a^]nt), n. [OF. descant, deschant, F. d[ e]chant, discant, LL. discantus, fr. L. dis + cantus singing, melody, fr. canere to sing. See {Chant}, and cf. {Descant}, v. i., {Discant}.] 1. (Mus.) (a) Originally, a double song; a… …

    The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 3 Descant — Des*cant (d[e^]s*k[a^]nt ), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Descanted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Descanting}.] [From descant; n.; or directly fr. OF. descanter, deschanter; L. dis + cantare to sing.] 1. To sing a variation or accomplishment. [1913 Webster] 2. To… …

    The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 4 descant — [des′kant΄; ] for v., also [ des kant′] n. [ME < Anglo Fr deschaunt & ML discantus < L dis , from, apart + cantus, song: see CHANT] 1. Medieval Music a) two part singing in which there is a fixed, known melody and an additional but… …

    English World dictionary

  • 5 descant — index censure, comment, converse, declaim Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …

    Law dictionary

  • 6 descant — vb 1 *sing, troll, carol, warble, trill, hymn, chant, intone 2 *discourse, expatiate, dilate …

    New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • 7 descant — ► NOUN ▪ an independent treble melody sung or played above a basic melody. ► VERB ▪ talk tediously or at length. ORIGIN Latin discantus part song, refrain …

    English terms dictionary

  • 8 descant — {{11}}descant (n.) late 14c., from O.N.Fr. descant (O.Fr. deschant), from M.L. discantus refrain, part song, from L. dis asunder, apart (see DIS (Cf. dis )) + cantus song (see CHANT (Cf. chant)). Spelling was partly Latinized 16c. Originally… …

    Etymology dictionary

  • 9 descant — descanter, n. n., adj. /des kant/; v. /des kant , dis /, n. 1. Music. a. a melody or counterpoint accompanying a simple musical theme and usually written above it. b. (in part music) the soprano. c. a song or melody. 2. a variation upon anything; …

    Universalium

  • 10 descant — Figurate Fig ur*ate, a. [L. figuratus, p. p. of figurare. See {Figure}.] 1. Of a definite form or figure. [1913 Webster] Plants are all figurate and determinate, which inanimate bodies are not. Bacon. [1913 Webster] 2. Figurative; metaphorical.… …

    The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 11 descant — [14] Etymologically, descant is a parallel formation to English part song. English acquired it via Old French deschant from medieval Latin discantus ‘refrain’, a compound noun formed from the prefix dis ‘apart’ and cantus ‘song’. The notion… …

    The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • 12 descant — [[t]de̱skænt[/t]] descants N COUNT A descant is a tune which is played or sung above the main tune in a piece of music. An elderly woman, arms crossed, sang the descant …

    English dictionary

  • 13 descant — UK [ˈdeskænt] / US [ˈdeˌskænt] noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms descant : singular descant plural descants music a second tune that is higher than the main tune in a piece of music …

    English dictionary

  • 14 descant — noun /ˈdɛskænt / (say deskant) Also, discant. 1. Music a. a melody or counterpoint accompanying a simple musical theme and usually written above it: *Both women sang the song improvising a descant and in the end achieving, because of not keeping… …

    Australian English dictionary

  • 15 descant — [14] Etymologically, descant is a parallel formation to English part song. English acquired it via Old French deschant from medieval Latin discantus ‘refrain’, a compound noun formed from the prefix dis ‘apart’ and cantus ‘song’. The notion… …

    Word origins

  • 16 descant — n. & v. n. 1 Mus. an independent treble melody usu. sung or played above a basic melody, esp. of a hymn tune. 2 poet. a melody; a song. v.intr. 1 (foll. by on, upon) talk lengthily and prosily, esp. in praise of. 2 Mus. sing or play a descant.… …

    Useful english dictionary

  • 17 descant on — verb sing a descant on a main tune or melody • Hypernyms: ↑sing • Verb Frames: Somebody s something They will descant on the duet …

    Useful english dictionary

  • 18 descant — I. noun also discant Etymology: Middle English dyscant, from Anglo French & Medieval Latin; Anglo French descaunt, from Medieval Latin discantus, from Latin dis + cantus song more at chant Date: 14th century 1. a. a melody or counterpoint sung… …

    New Collegiate Dictionary

  • 19 descant — 1. noun a) A lengthy discourse on a subject b) a counterpoint melody sung or played above the theme 2. verb a) To discuss at le …

    Wiktionary

  • 20 Descant —    A countermelody sung, usually by a segment of the choir, mainly above the principal melody of the hymn sung by the congregation …

    Historical dictionary of sacred music