minstrelsy

noun

min·​strel·​sy ˈmin(t)-strəl-sē How to pronounce minstrelsy (audio)
1
: the singing and playing of a minstrel
2
: a body of minstrels
3
: a group of songs or verse

Examples of minstrelsy in a Sentence

the traditional forms of German minstrelsy
Recent Examples on the Web During the 19th century, the banjo became popularized in American culture through minstrelsy — a performance practice in which White musicians donned blackface makeup and mocked African American musical traditions for a White audience. Janay Kingsberry, Washington Post, 14 Mar. 2024 Just as Harris is, among other things, satirizing minstrelsy, Barney is doing a slathering, filterless, singe-your-eyebrows-off send-up of the white lady who can do and say whatever and get away with it. Sara Holdren, Vulture, 11 Jan. 2024 As part of Under the Radar, Nile Harris resurrects his play that weaves together text, sound, minstrelsy and dance to explore the American experience. Gia Kourlas, New York Times, 5 Jan. 2024 Hollywood has never fully severed its roots in minstrelsy. Jody Rosen, The New Yorker, 7 Oct. 2023 From earlier eras, the city had spawned minstrelsy, Broadway show tunes, and the Tin Pan Alley recordings, producing superstar performers like Irving Berlin and Tony Bennett. TIME, 13 Oct. 2023 As a result, some touchy old stereotypes, appropriated by whites and perverted as minstrelsy, are reclaimed and reframed. Jesse Green, New York Times, 27 Sep. 2023 Without safeguards, this new minstrelsy will produce the inverse effect of the post-racial fallacy peddled during the Obama years. Jason Parham, WIRED, 21 July 2023 Not like Bamboozled, Spike Lee’s postmodern riff on blackface, but Amos ’n Andy as a history of minstrelsy going back to the beginning. Seyward Darby, Longreads, 25 Apr. 2023

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English mynstralcye, borrowed from Anglo-French menestralsie, menstralcie, from menestral, menstral minstrel + -sie, -cie -cy

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of minstrelsy was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near minstrelsy

Cite this Entry

“Minstrelsy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/minstrelsy. Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

minstrelsy

noun
min·​strel·​sy ˈmin(t)-strəl-sē How to pronounce minstrelsy (audio)
plural minstrelsies
1
: the singing and playing of a minstrel
2
: a body of minstrels
3
: a collection of songs or verse
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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