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Definition of "descant" [des•cant]

  • Music An ornamental melody or counterpoint sung or played above a theme. (noun)
  • Music The highest part sung in part music. (noun)
  • A discussion or discourse on a theme. (noun)
  • To comment at length; discourse: "He used to descant critically on the dishes which had been at table” ( James Boswell). (verb-intransitive)
  • Music To sing or play a descant. (verb-intransitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "descant" in a sentence
  • "African descant, which is why they dominant most sports where this explosive power is an asset."
  • "We think Mr. Hazlitt's notes are, in the main, good; but we should like to know his authority for saying that _pench_ means "the hole in a bench by which it was taken up," -- that "descant" means"
  • "To 'descant' meant to sing or play an _extempore_ second 'part' to a written melody."