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The Sound of Music (1965)

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If you've been more than a little confused by some of the vocabulary used in both the lyrics and spoken dialogue of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, (with the assistance of Merriam-Webster) here are a few definitions that may help:

  • Anschluss (proper noun):
    1. the German annexation of Austria on March 11, 1938
  • dervish (noun):
    1. a member of a Muslim religious order noted for devotional exercises (as bodily movements leading to a trance)
    2. one that whirls or dances with or as if with the abandonment of a dervish
  • edelweiss (noun):
    1. a small alpine perennial composite herb (Leontopodium alpinum) of central and southeast Europe that has a dense woolly white pubescence: a flowering herb
  • flibbertigibbet (noun):
    1. a silly flighty person
  • gauleiter (noun):
    1. a district political official in Nazi Germany
  • goatherd (noun):
    1. a person who tends goats
  • incorrigible (adjective):
    1. incapable of being corrected or amended:
      1. not reformable: depraved; delinquent
      2. not manageable: unruly
      3. unalterable, inveterate
  • ken (noun):
    1. the range of vision: sight, view
    2. the range of perception, understanding, or knowledge
  • roué (noun):
    1. a man devoted to a life of sensual pleasure: rake
  • Untersberg (proper noun):
    1. a mountain peak rising 1853 meters out of the Salzburg basin
  • vespers (singular and plural noun):
    1. the sixth of the Catholic canonical hours that is said or sung in the late afternoon
    2. a service of evening worship
  • will-o'-the-wisp (noun):
    1. Ignis Fatuus (a light that sometimes appears in the night over marshy ground and is often attributable to the combustion of gas from decomposed organic matter)
    2. a delusive or elusive goal
  • wireless (noun):
    1. wireless telegraphy
    2. two-way wireless transmission of sound using radio waves
    3. chiefly British: radio

© 2005 Merriam-Webster

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Last updated: June 21, 2010.
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