Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
n. A person who both sings and composes, especially if they perform their own compositions.
Singer-songwriters are musicians who write, compose, and perform their own musical material including lyrics and melodies. As opposed to contemporary pop music singers who may write or co-write their own songs, the term singer-songwriter describes a distinct form of artistry, closely associated with the folk-acoustic tradition. Singer-songwriters often provide the sole accompaniment to an entire composition or song, typically using a guitar or piano; both the compositions and the arrangements are written primarily as solo vehicles, with the material angled toward topical issues—sometimes political, sometimes introspective, sensitive, romantic, and confessional.
Often, the songs written by these musicians serve not only as entertainment, but also as tools for political protest, as in the cases of the Almanac Singers, Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, whose guitar was inscribed with the words, " This machine kills fascists".
Usage examples of "singer-songwriter".
There is a boom box held down with bungee cords, and a shoebox with a couple of dozen CDs in it, mostly albums by American woman singer-songwriters of the offbeat, misunderstood, highly intelligent but intensely emotional school, getting rich selling music to consumers who understand what it's like not to be understood.
You know, you have to be careful with these singer-songwriters, Brian.