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Popular song, usually of religious joy, associated with a season, especially Christmas. It typically alternates verses with a repeated refrain or chorus. The carol originated in medieval England, with texts in English or Latin or both, and it was often associated with dancing and processions. The French noël, the German Weihnachtslied, and the Spanish villancico can also be regarded as carols.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on carol, visit Britannica.com.