from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A verse form usually consisting of three stanzas of eight or ten lines each along with a brief envoy, with all three stanzas and the envoy ending in the same one-line refrain.
  • noun Music A composition, usually for the piano, having the romantic or dramatic quality of a narrative poem.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A poem consisting of one or more triplets each formed of stanzas of seven or eight lines, the last line being a refrain common to all the stanzas.
  • noun A poem divided into stanzas having the same number of lines, commonly seven or eight.
  • noun In music, a term variously applied to melodies for ballads, to extended narrative or dramatic works for a solo voice, occasionally to concerted choral cantatas, and to instrumental pieces of a melodic character — in the last case often without obvious reason.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A form of French versification, sometimes imitated in English, in which three or four rhymes recur through three stanzas of eight or ten lines each, the stanzas concluding with a refrain, and the whole poem with an envoy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun music Any of various genres of single-movement musical pieces having lyrical and narrative elements

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

  • noun a poem consisting of 3 stanzas and an envoy


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

Middle English balade; see ballad.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French ballade


  • With the exception of the sonnet, the ballade is the noblest of the artificial forms of verse cultivated in English literature.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 2 "Baconthorpe" to "Bankruptcy"

  • After _A Midsummer Holiday_ no one can contend any longer that the ballade is a structure necessarily any more artificial than the sonnet.

    Figures of Several Centuries

  • It takes genius, however, to cook _bouillabaisse_; and, to parody what De Banville says about his own recipe for making a mechanical "ballade," "en employment ce moyen, on est sur de faire une mauvaise, irremediablement mauvaise

    Essays in Little

  • The ballade, full of dramatic intensity, mainly inspired by Polish epic poems, was a new musical form invented by Chopin.

    Chopin's 'Soul and Heart'

  • There's a little mini-fugue that shows up in this ballade.

    Chopin With A Polish Touch

  • The B minor adagio (Op 119, No 1) is achingly beautiful, the G minor ballade (Op 118, No 3) fiercely impassioned.

    Brahms: Handel Variations Op 24, Rhapsodies Op 79, Piano Pieces Opp 118 & 119 – review

  • Although she had studied the medieval and Renaissance French ballade, Cohen believed that the study of modern drama, especially American plays, was particularly important for high school students.

    Helen Louise Cohen.

  • Machaut was especially influential in the development of the motet and the secular song particularly the lai, and the formes fixes: rondeau, virelai and ballade.

    Archive 2009-10-01

  • There was an open mic night at the local lesbian bookstore -- there are three open mics in town, basically, and only one my schedule allows me to make with any regularity -- and so I read three poems: "not quite a ballade for joseph merrick," "black rushmore," and "way over yonder."

    the weekend so far

  • There is no evidence that Binchois ever visited England, but some of his works are settings of the Sarum Use, at least one song is found in an English manuscript, and his ballade Dueil angoisseus was used as the basis of a mass setting by the English composer Bedyngham.

    Archive 2009-04-01


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  • I know, right?

    March 3, 2011

  • Adorable!

    March 3, 2011

  • Check out the third definition from the Century Dictionary--the Century can be so snarky. I love it!

    March 3, 2011