noun min·strel \ˈmin(t)-strəl\

: 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

:  one of a class of medieval musical entertainers; especially :  a singer of verses to the accompaniment of a harp
a :  musician
b :  poet
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

diva, dramaturgy, loge, prestidigitation, proscenium, supernumerary, zany
MINSTRELS Defined for Kids


noun min·strel \ˈmin-strəl\

Definition of MINSTREL for Kids

:  a musical entertainer in the Middle Ages
:  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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