au·​bade | \ ō-ˈbäd How to pronounce aubade (audio) \

Definition of aubade

1 : a song or poem greeting the dawn
2a : a morning love song
b : a song or poem of lovers parting at dawn
3 : morning music — compare nocturne

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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."

Examples of aubade in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Sunshine cascades through the generous windows of the I.C.U., but the rays seem to flounder once in the rooms—an aubade without an audience. Danielle Ofri, The New Yorker, "A Bellevue Doctor’s Pandemic Diary," 1 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aubade.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of aubade

circa 1678, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for aubade

French, from Middle French, from Old Occitan aubada, from alba, auba dawn, from Vulgar Latin *alba, from Latin, feminine of albus white — more at alb

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The first known use of aubade was circa 1678

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Last Updated

7 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Aubade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2020.

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