n. pl. mel·o·dies
1. A pleasing succession or arrangement of sounds.
2. Musical quality: the melody of verse.
a. A rhythmically organized sequence of single tones so related to one another as to make up a particular phrase or idea.
b. Structure with respect to the arrangement of single notes in succession.
c. The leading part or the air in a composition with accompaniment.
4. A poem suitable for setting to music or singing.
[Middle English melodie, from Old French, from Late Latin melōdia, from Greek melōidiā, singing, choral song : melos, tune + aoidē, song; see wed-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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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.