Pronounced: DAS-tuhrd, noun
Notes: Today’s entry may be easy; I’m adding it because I didn’t know this word existed
The word dithyramb means
- wildly enthusiastic speech or writing, often irregular or unconventional in form
- an ancient choral chant or song that is excited and wild
This word came into English in late 1500s or early 1600s
Background / Comments
I am not sure at what point an enthusiastic speech or writing becomes “wildly enthusiastic” and thus qualifies to be called a dithyramb. I also don’t know when some pattern becomes “irregular”. Our word came to us from the Latin word dīthyrambus, which came from the Greek word dīthýrambos. Its original meaning was the second one, used in Greek plays; in time, the wild nature of those Greek chants/songs was generalized into the first definition.