1 of 3

noun (1)

: a tribal poet-singer skilled in composing and reciting verses on heroes and their deeds
: a composer, singer, or declaimer of epic or heroic verse
: poet
bardic adjective


2 of 3

noun (2)

variants or barde
: a piece of armor or ornament for a horse's neck, breast, or flank


3 of 3


barded; barding; bards

transitive verb

: to furnish (a horse's neck, breast, or flank) with a piece of armor or ornament : to furnish with bards (see bard entry 2)
[borrowed from French barder, verbal derivative of barde "strip of fat to cover meat," figurative use of barde "piece of armor for a horse, packsaddle"] : to dress meat for cooking by covering with strips of fat

Examples of bard in a Sentence

Noun (1) a bard best known for a series of love poems to his raven-haired beloved
Recent Examples on the Web
For me, the most shocking part of this year’s Super Bowl was the five seconds of the broadcast that showed Lana Del Rey, the bard of our tragic times, in a Kansas City jacket. Tyler Foggatt, The New Yorker, 12 Feb. 2024 After filling his glass, our new friend, framed by the sun setting over his shoulder, proceeded to serenade our camp with covers and traditional ukulele numbers like a Renaissance bard. Ed Fletcher, Sacramento Bee, 25 Jan. 2024 Chris Pine's winning take on a bard is the driving force here, but Michelle Rodriguez's barbarian and (an underutilized) Regé-Jean Page's paladin steal plenty of scenes by really hewing true to their characters' alignment chart. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, 25 Dec. 2023 Paul Mescal is taking on the role of the bard in an upcoming movie. Tommy McArdle, Peoplemag, 30 Jan. 2024 An all-star group of artists will pay tribute to O’Connor (and fellow late Irish punk bard Pogues singer Shane MacGowan) at a March 20 show at Carnegie Hall in New York. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 9 Jan. 2024 In 1976, Goldeneye was bought, sight unseen, by Bob Marley, the bard of Third World rebellion, who had overtaken Fleming as Jamaica’s leading cultural export. Daniel Immerwahr, The New Yorker, 8 Jan. 2024 Here was the punk bard of 20th century Ireland, drunken and damaged, but still connected to ancient Celtic spirits, singing with a reckless abandon that gave him a direct channel into the hearts of the clamoring Irish crowd. Rob Curran, WSJ, 30 Nov. 2023 The 30-second pitch for this movie is tantalizing: What if a highbrow black writer pretended to be a stereotypical bard of the ghetto, complete with spotty grammar, a prison record and an inordinate terror of police sirens? Kyle Smith, WSJ, 14 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bard.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle English, from Scottish Gaelic & Irish

Noun (2)

borrowed from Middle French barde, going back to Old French, "packsaddle, saddle cover," borrowed from Arabic bardʽa (or borrowed from Italian barda in sense "piece of armor for a horse," borrowed from Arabic)


verbal derivative of bard entry 2

First Known Use

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above


1501, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bard was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near bard

Cite this Entry

“Bard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a person in ancient societies skilled at composing and singing or reciting verses about heroes and their deeds
: poet

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