au·​bade ō-ˈbäd How to pronounce aubade (audio)
: a song or poem greeting the dawn
: a morning love song
: a song or poem of lovers parting at dawn
: morning music compare nocturne

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 But this dalliance with aubade was short-lived, after which Tower and Weilerstein hit the ground running. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 20 May 2022 This ebullience of this aubade-style effusion is entirely new. Gregory Dowling, WSJ, 16 July 2021 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, 1 Oct. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aubade.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

circa 1678, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of aubade was circa 1678


Dictionary Entries Near aubade

Cite this Entry

“Aubade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

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