mad·​ri·​gal | \ ˈma-dri-gəl How to pronounce madrigal (audio) \

Definition of madrigal

1 : a medieval short lyrical poem in a strict poetic form
2a : a complex polyphonic unaccompanied vocal piece on a secular text developed especially in the 16th and 17th centuries
b : part-song especially : glee

Other Words from madrigal

madrigalian \ ˌma-​drə-​ˈga-​lē-​ən How to pronounce madrigal (audio) , -​ˈgā-​ How to pronounce madrigal (audio) \ adjective
madrigalist \ ˈma-​dri-​gə-​list How to pronounce madrigal (audio) \ noun

Examples of madrigal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At best, Gidden’s singing and arrangement of a Monteverdi madrigal achieve remarkable eloquence. Los Angeles Times, 21 Sep. 2021 After this is a setting of a Whitman poem for chorus a cappella in the style of a sixteenth-century madrigal, followed by a section in which a line from Dante’s Inferno is sung by a vocal trio in the style of a medieval motet. Walter Simmons, Harper's Magazine, 25 May 2021 To order, call 561-297-2337 or go to Rod Stafford Hagwood,, 4 Dec. 2019 Two concerts in the Seaport district follow: Italian madrigals by the Franco-Flemish composer Cipriano de Rore (a recording of which has just been released) next Friday, and a 15th-century program next Saturday., 25 Oct. 2019 Her two Rossi madrigals on texts by Giovanni Guarini were strong, heartfelt and rapturous in expression. Alan Artner,, 9 Apr. 2018 The late-Renaissance composer’s final work, a cycle of 21 madrigals, will be staged by director Peter Sellars in his Ravinia debut. John Von Rhein,, 14 Mar. 2018 Features madrigals from Books V, VI, VII and VIII, and concertato works from Selva Morale e Spirituale. Rasputin Todd,, 2 Apr. 2018 Works by Hartke and Shostakovich, plus madrigals by Gesualdo and Monteverdi. Mark Rapp,, 29 Oct. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'madrigal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of madrigal

1584, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for madrigal

Italian madrigale, probably from Medieval Latin matricale, from neuter of *matricalis simple, from Late Latin, of the womb, from Latin matric-, matrix womb, from mater mother

Learn More About madrigal

Time Traveler for madrigal

Time Traveler

The first known use of madrigal was in 1584

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near madrigal

Madrid sweet clover



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for madrigal

Cite this Entry

“Madrigal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on madrigal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for madrigal Encyclopedia article about madrigal


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!