n. pl. me·lis·ma·ta (-mə-tə) or me·lis·mas
A passage of multiple notes sung to one syllable of text, as in Gregorian chant.
[Greek, melody, from melizein, to sing, from melos, limb, musical phrase, tune, song; possibly akin to Breton mell, ankle, and Welsh -mal in cymal, joint, knuckle (cy-, together, with).]
mel′is·matic (mĕl′ĭz-mătĭk) adj.
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.