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

  • n. A medieval itinerant singer; a minstrel.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A professional singer, bard, or other entertainer.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A name anciently given to an itinerant minstrel or musician.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A singer; specifically, in old use, a strolling minstrel or musician.


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

Middle English gleman, from Old English glēoman : glēo, minstrelsy; see ghel-2 in Indo-European roots + man, man; see man.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English glīġman, glēoman, corresponding to glee + man.


  • Perhaps Cynewulf was a poet who lived as one of the household of some great lord, and wrote more at his ease than if he had been merely an itinerant singer, a "gleeman," who sang his songs as he went about.

    Our Catholic Heritage in English Literature of Pre-Conquest Days

  • Then Sir Irnfried dealt the valiant gleeman such a blow that his coat of mail burst open and his breastplate was enveloped with a bright red flame.

    The Nibelungenlied

  • Folker he smote, so that on all sides the clasps flew to the walls of the hall from helmet and shield of the doughty gleeman.

    The Nibelungenlied

  • Then Hagen, too, bethought him of the gleeman, whom bold

    The Nibelungenlied

  • This the bold gleeman repaid with might; he smote Wolfhart, so that the sparks flew wide.

    The Nibelungenlied

  • Anyway I came across a compilation of the first three books in a gleeman train station.

    Show #1: Pre-show discussion : The Kick-Ass Mystic Ninjas

  • "Luca's as good as a gleeman, Thom. but I don't think he's going to sway them."

    Knife of Dreams

  • This woman contained more surprises than any gleeman.

    The Path of Daggers

  • "The gleeman saw us and hushed him," Areina put in, fingering the quiver at her waist, "but we heard."

    A Crown of Swords

  • Thom, seated across the lapis-inlaid table from the thief-catcher, looked as little the gleeman in his finely cut coat of bronze wool, as he did the man who had once been Queen Morgase's lover.

    A Crown of Swords


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  • “The ancient Celts carefully distinguished the poet, who was originally a priest and judge as well and whose person was sacrosanct, from the mere gleeman.�?

    — Robert Graves, The White Goddess, 1948

    November 14, 2008