The word lyric claims its emotional place in music and poetry, with the words to a song being called the lyrics, while a lyric poem is one steeped in personal emotions, making it song-like.

As with many artistic terms, the word lyric derives from the Greek, specifically from lyrikós, meaning "singing to the lyre," and today’s meanings are also rooted in the idea of music. The lyric poem was first seen in the late 16th Century, while the reference to a song’s words as lyrics appeared in 1876. If every one of your poems starts with the word "I," you might be a lyric poet.

Definitions of lyric
  1. adjective
    of or relating to a category of poetry that expresses emotion (often in a songlike way)
    lyric poetry”
  2. adjective
    expressing deep emotion
    synonyms: lyrical
    of more than usual emotion
  3. noun
    a short poem of songlike quality
    synonyms: lyric poem
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    a lyric poem with complex stanza forms
    an ode honoring a bride and bridegroom
    Horatian ode, Sapphic ode
    an ode with several stanzas
    Pindaric, Pindaric ode
    an ode form used by Pindar; has triple groups of triple units
    choral ode
    ode sung by the chorus in classical Greek drama
    type of:
    poem, verse form
    a composition written in metrical feet forming rhythmical lines
  4. adjective
    used of a singer or singing voice that is light in volume and modest in range
    “a lyric soprano”
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    used of a singer or singing voice that is marked by power and expressiveness and a histrionic or theatrical style
  5. adjective
    relating to or being musical drama
    “the lyric stage”
  6. noun
    the text of a popular song or musical-comedy number
    “his compositions always started with the lyrics
    synonyms: language, words
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    love lyric
    the lyric of a love song
    type of:
    text, textual matter
    the words of something written
  7. verb
    write lyrics for (a song)
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    write new lyrics for (a song)
    type of:
    compose, indite, pen, write
    produce a literary work
Word Family
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