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 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 Tate, a second tenor in the 250-member musical group, loves the ballads, the old songs, the challenging modern pieces and the choreography. Steve Rubenstein,, "SF Gay Men’s Chorus member’s voice is a gift he’ll deliver on Christmas Eve," 23 Dec. 2019 Indeed, today’s performance of Impeachment! featured the premier of Yovanovitch’s solo ballad. Deroy Murdock, National Review, "Schiff’s Impeachment Show Is Off to a Shaky Start," 15 Nov. 2019 Parker also did some impressive flute playing on an instrumental ballad. Dan Emerson, Twin Cities, "Saxophonist Maceo Parker covers all the bases with high-energy Dakota show," 11 June 2019 Marie Fredriksson, lead singer of Roxette, the Swedish pop duo that briefly ruled the American charts in the 1980s and 1990s with dramatically lovelorn ballads and catchy up-tempo singles, died Monday., "Marie Fredriksson, Roxette singer, is dead at 61 - The Boston Globe," 12 Dec. 2019 And her stinging rendition, which starts as an unplugged ballad and builds through to the guitar-shredding chorus, rips through the soul. Mara Reinstein, Billboard, "Five Things You Oughta Know About the 'Jagged Little Pill' Musical," 6 Dec. 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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for ballad

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ballad.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 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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