roun·​de·​lay ˈrau̇n-də-ˌlā How to pronounce roundelay (audio)
: a simple song with a refrain
: a poem with a refrain recurring frequently or at fixed intervals as in a rondel

Examples of roundelay in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Joining as a permanent member in 1971, Christine McVie weathered a roundelay of lineup changes within Fleetwood Mac that saw the departures of guitarists-singers-songwriters Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan and the ascent of American singer-songwriter-guitarist Bob Welch. Chris Morris, Variety, 30 Nov. 2022 But as her success spikes exponentially, so does the film's momentum, shifting toward the more familiar touchstones of a traditional music doc: The smear of foreign cities seen through a town-car window; the endless roundelay of interviews, meet-and-greets, and promo signings. Leah Greenblatt,, 25 Feb. 2021 The other two notable participants in the nearly farcical roundelay of romances are Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm (Cooper Grodin) and his wife, Charlotte (Sierra Boggess). Charles Isherwood, WSJ, 18 Aug. 2022 Kusijanović, making her feature directing debut, plots the family’s dynamic through a roundelay of gazes and with near-geometric precision. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 15 July 2022 Still, this loose-limbed romantic roundelay — gorgeously filmed in black and white by the French director Jacques Audiard — glows with a spirit of playful, limitless possibility. Justin Changfilm Critic, Los Angeles Times, 14 Apr. 2022 The house had a feeling of being offstage, at least compared with the comic roundelay of Turtle Bay. D. T. Max, The New Yorker, 14 Feb. 2022 The story itself is pure Western pulp, a dime-store roundelay of banditos, lost dreams, and femme fatales. Leah Greenblatt,, 17 Sep. 2021 What followed was a frustrating roundelay in which Chime directed Robertson to the IRS, and the IRS directed her to Chime. Carson Kessler, ProPublica, 6 July 2021

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

Word History


Middle English, modification of Middle French rondelet, diminutive of rondel

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of roundelay was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near roundelay

Cite this Entry

“Roundelay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


roun·​de·​lay ˈrau̇n-də-ˌlā How to pronounce roundelay (audio)
: a simple song with refrain

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