- The definition of an opus is a large scale creative work, especially a musical composition or set of musical compositions, numbered by date.
A musician's series of works organized by date of publication is an example of an opus.
nounpl. opera or opuses
Origin of opusClassical Latin a work ; from Indo-European an unverified form ops ; from base an unverified form op-, to work, riches from source Classical Latin ops, riches, Sanskrit ápas-, work, Old English efnan, to work, do
nounpl. o·pe·ra or o·pus·es
Origin of opusLatin; see op- in Indo-European roots.
(plural opuses or opera)
- A work of music or set of works with a specified rank in an ordering of a composer's complete published works.
- Beethoven's opus eighteen quartets are considered by many to be the beginning of the Romantic era.
- A work, especially of art.
- The painter's last opus was a dedication to all things living, in a surprising contrast to all of his prior work.
The most common plural of opus in English is opuses. Some people use the Latin plural, opera. Opi is fairly common in the field of classical music, though mostly in informal contexts. The use of any of these three pluralizations may result in the speaker being corrected, though opi above all should be avoided in formal contexts. Outside of music, the word opus sees particularly frequent use in the expression magnum opus.
Borrowed from Latin opus.