bal·​lad | \ˈba-ləd \

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 , ba-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for ballad


ditty, jingle, lay, lyric, song, vocal

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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

The song is a slow love ballad that has Jagger and Simon seemingly sitting together at a piano and singing. Fox News, "Lost Mick Jagger-Carly Simon duet found after more than 45 years," 22 Aug. 2018 Like, romantic ballad, birdsong, cotton candy-scattered rose petals levels of being in love. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Why Pete Davidson's Ariana Grande Tattoo Has Been Covered Up," 2 Aug. 2018 But there are a couple of songs rendered as sad ballads, too. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is a kooky, poppy romp," 18 July 2018 Duhé joined the producer on stage to belt the pop-ballad, and fans reaction was pretty favorable. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Zedd Announces New Collaboration 'Happy Now' With Elley Duhe," 13 July 2018 When his monologue wound down, Ms. Magic rose and began a Norah Jones-style ballad, picking up phrases from Mr. Eisenstein’s talk. Alex Williams, New York Times, "Tech Elites Recreate Burning Man Inside Their Living Rooms," 29 June 2018 True’ How the Beatles, Marvin Gaye, Al Green and Clare Grogan helped inspire the ballad that gave synth-pop a more soulful sound. Marc Myers, WSJ, "The Story Behind Joe Jackson’s ‘Steppin’ Out’," 13 June 2018 Their evocative and melodic ballads resonate with fans of Crosby, Stills & Nash and Joni Mitchell. Jeff Milo, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit music: Idiot Kids at Outer Limits, Nick Speed at the Old Miami," 5 July 2018 Image Rebecca Parris, a husky-voiced jazz singer known for both her blistering scat runs and her deeply affecting interpretations of ballads, died on June 17 in South Yarmouth, Mass. Andrew R. Chow, New York Times, "Rebecca Parris, Jazz Singer, Is Dead at 66," 22 June 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near ballad







ballade royal

Statistics for ballad

Last Updated

19 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for ballad

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

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More Definitions for ballad



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 \

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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