Definition of eclogue
: a poem in which shepherds converse
Did You Know?
Although the eclogue first appeared in the Idylls of the Greek poet Theocritus, it was the 10 Eclogues (or Bucolics) of the Roman poet Virgil that gave us the word eclogue. (The Latin title Eclogae literally meant "selections.") The eclogue was popular in the Renaissance and through the 17th century, when less formal eclogues were written. As our example sentence suggests, the eclogue traditionally depicted rural life as free from the complexity and corruption of more citified realms. The poets of the Romantic period rebelled against the artificiality of the older pastoral, and the eclogue fell out of favor. In more modern times, though, the term "eclogue" has been applied to pastoral poems involving the conversations of people other than shepherds, often with heavy doses of irony.
Origin of eclogue
Middle English eclog, from Latin Eclogae, title of Virgil's pastorals, literally, selections, plural of ecloga, from Greek eklogē, from eklegein to select
First Known Use: 15th century
Learn More about eclogue
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about "eclogue"
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