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


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 milk-chocolate matte shade, for example, is called A Whole New World, after the famous ballad, and the shimmering royal blue shade is, of course, called Genie. Marci Robin, Allure, "There’s Another Aladdin Makeup Collection on the Market — But There's a Catch," 23 May 2019 Right away, Paula, Randy, and Kara were impressed with Adam's rendition of the rock ballad. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "The Untold Story of 'American Idol' Star Adam Lambert's Queen Audition 10 Years Ago," 29 Apr. 2019 Surging rock anthems or sentimental piano ballads -- hooky tunes just seemed to come very easy to Paul. Stereo Williams, Billboard, "How I Became a Paul McCartney Fan: Discovering the Depths of the Former Beatle's Underappreciated Solo Catalog," 18 June 2018 The trio with a badass female lead singer/guitarist can go from poppy punk to grunge to haunting ballads. The Editors, Marie Claire, "Marie Claire Editors Tell You Their Favorite Things You Probably Missed in 2018," 31 Dec. 2018 Brooks & Dunn gave us boot-scootin' party tracks, while a strong set of female singers (Faith Hill, Trisha Yearwood, and Martina McBride, just to name a few) belted out powerful ballads about love and loss. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "50 Country Songs Everyone Who Grew Up in the ’90s Will Appreciate," 6 Nov. 2018 Under music director Nicholas Kaminski the mix of electronic music and ballads in this sung-through musical still holds up. Hugh Hunter,, "Exuberant 'Superstar' at Surflight Theatre," 27 June 2018 Apparently, stripped down ballads was the way to go at tonight’s Grammys., "Grammys 2018: Grading performances by Bruno Mars, Cardi B & more," 29 Jan. 2018 At the time, Funkadelic was basically a psychedelic-rock band that took apart soul ballads, and its heavy, sprawling jams felt like an endurance test. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "How George Clinton Made Funk a World View," 9 July 2017

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

4 Jun 2019

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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 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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