bal·​lad | \ ˈba-ləd How to pronounce ballad (audio) \

Definition of ballad

1a : a narrative composition in rhythmic verse suitable for singing a ballad about King Arthur
b : an art song accompanying a traditional ballad
2 : a simple song : air
3 : a popular song especially : a slow romantic or sentimental song a ballad they danced to at their wedding reception

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Other Words from ballad

balladic \ bə-​ˈla-​dik How to pronounce balladic (audio) , ba-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for ballad


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Examples of ballad in a Sentence

a ballad about King Arthur a haunting ballad about lost love and loneliness
Recent Examples on the Web But 'The Weight of These Wings' was very ballad-heavy and pretty heavy lyrically. Ed Masley, azcentral, "Miranda Lambert always made honest music. But now she says, 'My truth is a lot happier'," 24 Jan. 2020 But the Ohio native delivered big time with an emotional ballad inspired by his breakup. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, "'The Voice': 'Mega-Mentor' Taylor Swift has no critique for this double-steal-worthy song," 28 Oct. 2019 The result is a cabaret act with personal anecdotes, comments on current events, and a wide repertoire of songs ranging from a raucous number from Pink to an introspective ballad from Billie Holiday., "“The Book Club Play” explores the phenomenon that is American book clubs.," 4 Oct. 2019 Formally, calypso gives the novel its ballad shape; calypso also provides the deus ex machina happy ending. Dohra Ahmad, The New York Review of Books, "A Lark in West Indian London," 10 Jan. 2020 But first there would be testaments of thanks and a performance, an a cappella ballad about gratitude from one of the men dining, backed only by some finger snaps and a microphone. Morgan Greene,, "Homeless shelter puts on a special Thanksgiving dinner: ‘We’re all here. So why not help each other out?’," 28 Nov. 2019 Does knowing more trivia help someone build a better car or advance particle physics or write a more touching ballad? Greg Jackson, Harper's magazine, "Vicious Cycles," 6 Jan. 2020 All the wild joy and blurred grief that animates Young Thug’s extraordinary discography resides quietly inside this song — a sober ballad about diamonds, kangaroos, life and death. Washington Post Staff, Washington Post, "Best of 2019: A roundup of the best movies, books, music, and video games of the year," 18 Dec. 2019 The record relays a tremendous sense of loss, too, with a sequence of songs that culminates in a mournful ballad by the ethereal singer Moses Sumney. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "The Best Part of Queen & Slim Is the Soundtrack," 20 Nov. 2019

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

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First Known Use of ballad

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for ballad

Middle English balade ballade, song, from Middle French, from Old Occitan balada dance, song sung while dancing, from balar to dance, from Late Latin ballare

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Time Traveler for ballad

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The first known use of ballad was in the 15th century

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Statistics for ballad

Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ballad.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for ballad


How to pronounce ballad (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ballad

: a slow popular song that is typically about love
: a kind of poem or song that tells a story (such as a story about a famous person from history)


bal·​lad | \ ˈba-ləd How to pronounce ballad (audio) \

Kids Definition of ballad

1 : a short poem suitable for singing that tells a story in simple language
2 : a simple song
3 : a slow usually romantic song

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More from Merriam-Webster on ballad

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ballad

Spanish Central: Translation of ballad

Nglish: Translation of ballad for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about ballad

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