Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A Venetian gondolier's song with a rhythm suggestive of rowing.
  • n. A composition imitating a Venetian gondolier's song.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A Venetian folk song traditionally sung by gondoliers
  • n. A composition in this style

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An Italian boatman.
  • n. A simple song or melody sung by Venetian gondoliers.
  • n. A piece of instrumental music composed in imitation of such a song.
  • n. Also spelled barcarolle.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a boating song sung by Venetian gondoliers

Etymologies

French, from Italian barcaruola, from barcaruolo, gondolier, from barca, boat, from Latin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Italian barcarola (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Farther off, at a fourth instrument in the oratory, a whole class of a dozen or more were taking a singing lesson, and just then joining in a "barcarole" (I think they called it), whereof I yet remember these words "fraîchë," "brisë," and "Venisë."

    Villette

  • So: play the waltz of the tranquil moon, the barcarole, on the fluid guitar, till my head lolls, dreaming:

    Sunday Poet: Pablo Neruda

  • From each berth some different description of noise was issuing; the Lubecker was snoring loudly, Baron R---- was twanging a guitar, Monsieur Robineau singing a barcarole, and every body was calling out as loud as he could for something or other.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol 58, No. 357, July 1845

  • She moved off with her book to a window; shut herself out from the room, and into the storm, with a heavy fall of curtains; and Nelly's voice rippled through a tripping, Venetian barcarole.

    The Continental Monthly, Vol 6, No 5, November 1864 Devoted To Literature And National Policy

  • He left her at her own gate, the evening before that glorious day, and sang his way down the street, feeling that he floated on the airy uplift of his own barcarole beneath sapphire skies, for Bertha had put her arms about him at last.

    In the Arena Stories of Political Life

  • Annette had now a new incentive to work; the fisherman had once praised her voice when she hummed a barcarole on the sands, and he had insisted that there was power in its rich notes.

    The Goodness of St. Rocque and Other Stories

  • When they played the barcarole from Contes d'Hoffman everybody sang it and rose to their feet cheering the beautiful prima donna with whom the song was so closely identified, and who made one of a gay group at a flower-smothered table.

    The Common Law

  • Then one song and another was called for, and the night rang with ballad and barcarole, glee and round.

    The Merryweathers

  • Leslie's spirited singing, of the cider song, of Joe Mortimer's splendid miser scene, of Bret's success in the barcarole.

    A Mummer's Wife

  • He ran upstairs, singing a barcarole at the top of his voice, and rushed into the room, waving the model ship above his head.

    Stories by English Authors: Africa (Selected by Scribners)

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