swan song

swan song
noun
a final performance or effort (especially before retirement)
Syn: ↑last hurrah
Hypernyms: ↑performance

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noun
Etymology: translation of German schwanenlied
1. : a song of great sweetness formerly thought to be uttered by the swan just before its death
2. : a farewell appearance or final act or pronouncement

the swan song of a chivalry which died in the century before — New Republic

before turning over the gavel, delivered his swan song as chairman of the board

specifically : the last work (as of an author or composer)

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the last act or manifestation of someone or something; farewell appearance: This building turned out to be the swan song of Victorian architecture.
[1825-35; so called from the belief that the dying swan sings]

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swanˈsong or swan song noun
1. The fabled song of a swan just before its death
2. A writer's or musician's last work
3. One's last work or final appearance
• • •
Main Entry:swan

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swan song,
1. the song which, according to fable, a swan sings as it is about to die. It is melancholy but surpassingly beautiful.
2. Figurative. a person's last piece of work, farewell performance, or final statement, especially a last work of literature, music, or art.

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n. a person's final public performance or professional activity before retirement

he has decided to make this tour his swan song

Origin:
early 19th cent.: suggested by German Schwanengesang, a song like that fabled to be sung by a dying swan

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noun, pl ⋯ songs [count]
: the last performance or piece of work by an actor, athlete, writer, etc.

She has announced that this tournament will be her swan song. [=this will be her last tournament]


Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • swan song — n. 1. the sweet song supposed in ancient fable to be sung by a dying swan 2. the last act, final creative work, etc. of a person, as before retirement or death …   English World dictionary

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  • swan song — swan ,song noun count the last performance, speech, or work in the career of a well known person …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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