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minstrel

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noun min·strel \ˈmin(t)-strəl\

Simple Definition of minstrel

  • : a musical entertainer in the Middle Ages

  • : a member of a group of entertainers who performed black American songs and jokes usually with blackened faces

Full Definition of minstrel

  1. 1 :  one of a class of medieval musical entertainers; especially :  a singer of verses to the accompaniment of a harp

  2. 2 a :  musician b :  poet

  3. 3 a :  any of a troupe of performers typically giving a program of black American melodies, jokes, and impersonations and usually wearing blackface b :  a performance by a troupe of minstrels

Examples of minstrel

  1. <Edna St. Vincent Millay was unofficially the minstrel of Maine, as her poetry celebrates its coast and countryside.>



Origin of minstrel

Middle English menestrel, from Anglo-French menestral official, servant, minstrel, from Late Latin ministerialis imperial household officer, from Latin ministerium service, from minister servant — more at minister


First Known Use: 14th century

Other Performing Arts Terms


MINSTREL Defined for Kids

minstrel

play
noun min·strel \ˈmin-strəl\

Definition of minstrel

  1. 1 :  a musical entertainer in the Middle Ages

  2. 2 :  a member of a group of entertainers who performed black American melodies and jokes with blackened faces in the 19th and early 20th centuries





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