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 ballad (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 The beyond-legendary behind-the-scenes team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis joining forces with iconic singer-songwriter-producer Babyface for a throwback ballad. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 10 Best R&B Songs of 2020: Staff Picks," 18 Dec. 2020 Mr Dylan has put his thoughts about the deal into ballad-form. The Economist, "Knock-knock-knockin’ on Jody’s door A song for Dylan’s deal with Universal," 12 Dec. 2020 At her first performance in Rabbit Creek, Lotta danced an Irish jig and a reel and sang a plaintive ballad. Gary Kamiya,, "Who is the Lotta of Lotta’s Fountain? She was once one of America’s biggest stars," 11 Dec. 2020 This mournful ballad has been heard around the world for over a century. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "28 Best Irish Songs to Add to Your St. Patrick's Day Playlist," 18 Jan. 2021 But most streams isn't the only Spotify record the 17-year-old songbird's ballad broke this past week. Danielle Garrand, CBS News, "Olivia Rodrigo's hit "Drivers License" breaks Spotify record for most streams for a song in a single week," 17 Jan. 2021 Not, as the title might imply, a slinky cheating ballad. Nate Jones, Vulture, "All 179 Taylor Swift Songs, Ranked," 11 Jan. 2021 The ballad -- which was co-written by Mariah Carey, James Horner and Will Jennings -- was originally released in 2000. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Ask Billboard: A Dozen Hits, Eight Decades Atop This Week's Hot 100," 31 Dec. 2020 Superlative reading of songwriter Ron Sexsmith’s searching ballad. Jody Rosen, Los Angeles Times, "The 50 best Christmas songs of the last 50 years," 14 Dec. 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for ballad

Last Updated

12 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ballad.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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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 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

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

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