noel

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noun no·el \nō-ˈel\

Definition of noel

  1. 1 :  a Christmas carol The choir sang noels during the Christmas season.

  2. 2 capitalized :  christmas wished his friends a joyous Noel

noel was our Word of the Day on 12/25/2013. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

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.

Origin and Etymology of noel

French noël Christmas, carol, from Old French Nael (Deu), Noel Christmas, from Latin natalis birthday, from natalis natal


First Known Use: 15th century


NOEL Defined for Kids

noel

play
noun no·el \nō-ˈel\

Definition of noel for Students

  1. 1 :  a Christmas carol

  2. 2 cap :  the Christmas season



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