Definition of noel
- The choir sang noels during the Christmas season.
- wished his friends a joyous Noel
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
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English speakers borrowed the word noel from French. It can be traced further back to the Latin word natalis, which can mean "birthday" as a noun or "of or relating to birth" as an adjective. (The English adjective natal has the same meaning and is also an offspring of natalis.). Noels were being sung in Latin or French for centuries before the word found its way into our language in the 1800s. The earliest known musical use of noel occurred in the text of a Christmas motet called "Nova vobis gaudia," which was written in the 1400s.
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
What made you want to look up noel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
of very fine texture or delicate form
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