ei·​stedd·​fod ī-ˈstet͟h-ˌvȯd How to pronounce eisteddfod (audio)
plural eisteddfods ī-ˈstet͟h-ˌvȯdz How to pronounce eisteddfod (audio)
or eisteddfodau ī-ˌstet͟h-ˈvȯ-ˌdī How to pronounce eisteddfod (audio)
: a usually Welsh competitive festival of the arts especially in poetry and singing
eisteddfodic adjective

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In Medieval times, Welsh bards and minstrels would assemble together for an eisteddfod (the Welsh word for "session") of poetry and music competition. Over time, participation and interest in these competitions lessened, and by the 17th century an eisteddfod was far from the courtly affair it once was. The competition was revived in the 19th century as a way to showcase Wales's artistic culture. It was also in that century that an official council was formed to organize the annual National Eisteddfod of Wales, an event still held each summer alternately in North or South Wales. There are awards for music, prose, drama, and art, but the one for poetry remains the eisteddfod's pinnacle.

Word History


Welsh, literally, session, from eistedd to sit + bod being

First Known Use

1822, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of eisteddfod was in 1822


Dictionary Entries Near eisteddfod

Cite this Entry

“Eisteddfod.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eisteddfod. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

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