1 : a song or poem greeting the dawn
2 a : a morning love song
b : a song or poem of lovers parting at dawn
3 : morning music
The play opens with the heroine's lover awakening her with a sweet aubade.
"The score, in five movements, has a French flavor, no doubt inspired by the harp. The second movement is an aubade, the old troubadour form that French composers love." -- From a music review by Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times, August 21, 2011
Did You Know?
"Aubade" is a French word that first romanced speakers of the English language during the 1670s. In French it means "dawn serenade," and that is the meaning that English-speakers originally fell in love with. As the relationship of "aubade" with the English language grew, its meanings became a little more intimate. It blossomed into a word for a song or poem of lovers parting at dawn. Later it came to refer to songs sung in the morning hours. The affair between "aubade" and the dawn began with the Old Occitan word "auba," meaning "dawn." "Auba" itself is believed to come from Latin "albus," meaning "white."
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Word Family Quiz
What descendant of "albus" can refer to a book with blank pages? The answer is ...