min·​strel·​sy | \ ˈmin(t)-strəl-sē How to pronounce minstrelsy (audio) \

Definition of minstrelsy

1 : the singing and playing of a minstrel
2 : a body of minstrels
3 : a group of songs or verse

Synonyms & Antonyms for minstrelsy



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Examples of minstrelsy in a Sentence

the traditional forms of German minstrelsy
Recent Examples on the Web One of the most universal terms in comedy was created by Charlie Case, who pushed the Black entertainment needle away from racist minstrelsy and blackface during the vaudeville era by forging a new path of entertainment with storytelling. Elise Brisco, USA TODAY, 2 July 2022 In one passage, Stevens is forcibly escorted by a dark-skinned soldier in the Pashtun hills, and his description of the man amounts to straight-up minstrelsy. Robert Isenberg, Longreads, 26 Apr. 2022 Last Knight benefits by shedding the obvious problems: No Beijing appeasement, no explicit minstrelsy. Darren Franich, EW.com, 31 Mar. 2022 European blackface and American minstrelsy alike assume that performing blackness is a white birthright—that the stage is a white domain in which blacks are not allowed to tell their own stories, or even enjoy basic dignities. Ayanna Thompson, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Apr. 2021 Is this content a new kind of collaborative performance art — or modern minstrelsy? Cheri Lucas Rowlands, Longreads, 16 Dec. 2020 The turn of the century represented the height of black minstrelsy, violent attacks on black communities, and the Supreme Court ruling on Plessy v. Ferguson, which made segregation the law of the land. Kellie Carter Jackson, The Atlantic, 19 June 2020 The Elvis of early minstrelsy, Thomas Dartmouth Rice, was a son of Irish immigrants from the neighborhood’s infamous Five Points slum. John Strausbaugh, New York Times, 21 Feb. 2020 What better framing device for a racist travesty than minstrelsy, a theatrical form based on the grotesque caricature of blacks? Andrea Simakis, cleveland, 16 Feb. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of minstrelsy

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for minstrelsy

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near minstrelsy

minstrel show



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Last Updated

14 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Minstrelsy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/minstrelsy. Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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