American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search



1. A song or tune composed in parts.

2. A song or tune with various modulations.

The wakeful nightingale

All night long her amourous descant sung.

3. A discourse; discussion; disputation; animadversion, comment, or a series of comments.

4. The art of composing music in several parts. descant is plain, figurative and double.

Plain descant is the ground-work of musical compositions, consisting in the orderly disposition of concords, answering to simple counterpoint.

Figurative or florid descant is that part of an air in which some discords are concerned.

Double descant is when the parts are so contrived, that the treble may be made the base, and the base the treble.

DESCANT, verb intransitive

1. To run a division or variety with the voice, on a musical ground in true measure; to sing.

2. To discourse; to comment; to make a variety of remarks; to animadvert freely.

A virtuous man should be pleased to find people descanting on his actions.