They were never allowed to learn any liberal art, or to sing manly songs.

Shall I sing the chorus now or would you prefer to hear it later.

Her mother thought she had never heard her sing so splendidly before.

"Sing the song you gave us the other night at our house," he said carelessly.

Coax him to let you teach him—and bear with him if he should sing out of tune.

But she could not sing as she had sung a little while before.

After about twenty minutes, he ceased, saying, "We will now sing a hymn."

Pigeonwing, and could sing cavatinas and galop galops with the best of them.

If such a one as Gartley can sing, there is no reason why he should be kept singing.

Don't refuse, pray; but let me explain to you what is the scene we must sing.


Old English singan "to chant, sing, celebrate, or tell in song," also used of birds (class III strong verb; past tense sang, past participle sungen), from Proto-Germanic *sengwan (cf. Old Saxon singan, Old Frisian sionga, Middle Dutch singhen, Dutch zingen, Old High German singan, German singen, Gothic siggwan, Old Norse syngva, Swedish sjunga), from PIE root *sengwh- "to sing, make an incantation." The criminal slang sense of "to confess to authorities" is attested from 1610s.

No related forms in other languages, unless perhaps it is connected to Greek omphe "voice" (especially of a god), "oracle;" and Welsh dehongli "explain, interpret." The typical Indo-European root is represented by Latin canere (see chant (v.)). Other words meaning "sing" derive from roots meaning "cry, shout," but Irish gaibim is literally "take, seize," with sense evolution via "take up" a song or melody.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.