An opus is a created work, usually musical in nature. The composer's greatest opus was inspired by the blooming of the spring flowers.

While an opus is a piece of work, usually musical, the best way to remember it is to know that the preferred plural of opus is opera which everyone associates with music. You can also say opuses for the plural if you want, but how is that going to help you remember anything? A common usage of opus is with the term magnum opus which refers to one’s greatest work, musical or otherwise.

Definitions of opus

n a musical work that has been created

composition, musical composition, piece, piece of music
show 8 examples...
hide 8 examples...
(Judaism) a chant of praise (Psalms 113 through 118) used at Passover and Shabuoth and Sukkoth and Hanukkah and Rosh Hodesh
Hare Krishna
a chant to the Hindu god Krishna
Dies Irae
the first words of a medieval Latin hymn describing the Last Judgment (literally `day of wrath')
a revolutionary socialist anthem
Te Deum
an ancient liturgical hymn
the French national anthem
The Star-Spangled Banner
a poem written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812 was set to music and adopted by Congress in 1931 as the national anthem of the United States
(Luke) the canticle of the Virgin Mary (from Luke 1:46 beginning `Magnificat anima mea Dominum')
show 76 types...
hide 76 types...
a short literary or musical composition
sheet music
a musical composition in printed or written form
arrangement, musical arrangement
a piece of music that has been adapted for performance by a particular set of voices or instruments
realisation, realization
a musical composition that has been completed or enriched by someone other than the composer
a short piece of instrumental music composed for performance between acts of a drama or opera
a musical composition or musical passage to be performed quickly in a brisk lively manner
a musical composition or musical passage to be performed at a somewhat quicker tempo than andante but not as fast as allegro
a musical composition or musical passage to be performed moderately slow
a composition of vocal music that is appropriate for opening church services
a musical composition for one voice or instrument (with or without accompaniment)
duet, duette, duo
a musical composition for two performers
a musical composition for three performers
quartet, quartette
a musical composition for four performers
quintet, quintette
a musical composition for five performers
sestet, sextet, sextette
a musical composition written for six performers
septet, septette
a musical composition written for seven performers
octet, octette
a musical composition written for eight performers
a light piece of music for piano
divertimento, serenade
a musical composition in several movements; has no fixed form
a contrapuntal piece of music in which a melody in one part is imitated exactly in other parts
a short composition for a solo instrument; intended as an exercise or to demonstrate technical virtuosity
idyl, idyll, pastoral, pastorale
a musical composition that evokes rural life
a baroque musical composition (usually for a keyboard instrument) with full chords and rapid elaborate runs in a rhythmically free style
a musical composition of a free form usually incorporating several familiar themes
musical passage, passage
a short section of a musical composition
a major self-contained part of a symphony or sonata
(music) a composition or passage that is to be performed in a slow and dignified manner
(music) a composition or passage played in a slow tempo slightly faster than largo but slower than adagio
a musical composition of several movements only loosely connected
symphonic poem, tone poem
an orchestral composition based on literature or folk tales
medley, pastiche, potpourri
a musical composition consisting of a series of songs or other musical pieces from various sources
nocturne, notturno
a pensive lyrical piece of music (especially for the piano)
(music) a composition played in adagio tempo (slowly and gracefully)
song, vocal
a short musical composition with words
a composition intended to develop one aspect of the performer's technique
an instrumental composition that doesn't adhere to rules for any specific musical form and is played with improvisation
an unaccompanied choral composition with sacred lyrics; intended to be sung as part of a church service; originated in the 13th century
program music, programme music
musical compositions intended to evoke images or remind the listener of events
incidental music
music composed to accompany the action of a drama or to fill intervals between scenes
lead sheet
a sheet containing the words and melody for a song (and some indication of harmony) written in simple form
piano music
sheet music to be played on a piano
musical score, score
a written form of a musical composition; parts for different instruments appear on separate staves on large pages
religious song
religious music for singing
an arrangement of a piece of music for performance by an orchestra or band
the instruments called for in a musical score or arrangement for a band or orchestra
a short movement coming between the major sections of a symphony
composition (often improvised) for a solo instrument (especially solo organ) and not a regular part of a religious service or musical performance
enigma canon, enigmatic canon, enigmatical canon, riddle canon
a canon in which the entrances of successive parts were indicated by cryptic symbols and devices (popular in the 15th and 16th centuries)
a brief introductory passage to a piece of popular music
musical phrase, phrase
a short musical passage
the close of a musical section
a brilliant solo passage occurring near the end of a piece of music
a fast movement (usually in triple time)
(music) an instrumental suite common in the 18th century
a song of devotion or loyalty (as to a nation or school)
an elaborate song for solo voice
ballad, lay
a narrative song with a recurrent refrain
barcarole, barcarolle
a boating song sung by Venetian gondoliers
a short simple song (or the words of a poem intended to be sung)
coronach, dirge, lament, requiem, threnody
a song or hymn of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person
drinking song
a song celebrating the joys of drinking; sung at drinking parties
folk ballad, folk song, folksong
a song that is traditionally sung by the common people of a region and forms part of their culture
a German art song of the 19th century for voice and piano
love song, love-song
a song about love or expressing love for another person
berceuse, cradlesong, lullaby
a quiet song intended to lull a child to sleep
golden oldie, oldie
a song that was formerly popular
a song with two or more voice parts
prothalamion, prothalamium
a song in celebration of a marriage
a song in which a line or phrase is repeated as the refrain
banquet song, scolion
a song (sometimes improvised) sung by guests at a banquet
a song characteristically played outside the house of a woman
torch song
a popular song concerned with disappointment in love
work song
a usually rhythmical song to accompany repetitious work
a vocal passage of narrative text that a singer delivers with natural rhythms of speech
modulation, transition
a musical passage moving from one key to another
a short musical passage that seems to have been made spontaneously without advance preparation
Type of:
an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.