swan song definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- the sweet song supposed in ancient fable to be sung by a dying swan
- the last act, final creative work, etc. of a person, as before retirement or death
swan song definition by American Heritage Dictionary
nounThe American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
- A farewell or final appearance, action, or work.
- The beautiful legendary song sung only once by a swan in its lifetime, as it is dying.
Origin: From the belief that the swan sings as it dies.
swan song - Phrases/Idioms
A final accomplishment or performance, one's last work. For example, I'm resigning tomorrow; this project was my swan song. This term alludes to the old belief that swans normally are mute but burst into beautiful song moments before they die. Although the idea is much older, the term was first recorded in English only in 1890.