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

Post flitted between the rat-a-tat rhythms of rapping and gristly, power-ballad crooning. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "Post Malone’s White-Rapper Blues," 7 May 2018 Prince’s version, released today, is less power ballad, more melancholy slow dance, with a slightly faster beat, guitar licks, and a killer saxophone solo. Bridget Read, Vogue, "In a Brand-New “Nothing Compares 2 U,” a 1984 Prince Original Is Remastered for 2018," 19 Apr. 2018 The mournful ballads of lost love, an upbeat tune to welcome the harvest, wandering mystical notes contemplating and celebrating God. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, "In rediscovered reed flute, a soulful link to Jordanian identity," 13 July 2018 Paul Scott Goodman wrote the amiable, if not memorable, soft rock pop score though one less power ballad per act would allow what’s left to make more impact., "World premiere musical ‘Walk on the Moon’ in S.F. mostly captures spirit of 1969," 16 June 2018 As the lead single for her hotly anticipated upcoming album, powerhouse pop singer Grande reintroduced herself with a song that wraps its core — an emotional, orchestral ballad with plenty of space for her voice to shine — with a club-worthy beat. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Best Songs of 2018 So Far," 1 June 2018 All those big-haired 1980s power ballads, once a guilty pleasure, prove well-suited to the high-gloss camp and sexless raunch of rock opera. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Tina': Theater Review," 17 Apr. 2018 The musical could use a trim of some of the longer and slower ballads throughout, though. Marissa Oberlander, Chicago Reader, "Chicago Shakespeare’s Peter Pan is a soaring delight for both kids and adults," 11 July 2018 Album releases by Television City, Chris Richards Television City and Chris Richards & the Substractions are releasing new albums, both of which spin power-pop hooks and melodic ballads into the grittier terrain of rootsy Detroit rock. Jeff Milo, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit music: Band Blender at Small's, folk benefit in Ferndale, new album parties," 17 May 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

10 Sep 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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