trou·ba·dour | \ ˈtrü-bə-ˌdȯr , -ˌdu̇r \

Definition of troubadour 

1 : one of a class of lyric poets and poet-musicians often of knightly rank who flourished from the 11th to the end of the 13th century chiefly in the south of France and the north of Italy and whose major theme was courtly love — compare trouvère

2 : a singer especially of folk songs

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Did You Know?

In the Middle Ages, troubadours were the shining knights of poetry (in fact, some were ranked as high as knights in the feudal class structure). Troubadours made chivalry a high art, writing poems and singing about chivalrous love, creating the mystique of refined damsels, and glorifying the gallant knight on his charger. Troubadour was a fitting name for such creative artists; it derives from an Old Occitan word meaning "to compose." In modern contexts, troubadour still refers to the song-meisters of the Middle Ages, but it has been extended to cover contemporary poet-musicians as well.

Examples of troubadour in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

A few feet away stands a troubadour with his mandolin, both sculpted using flowers. Jay Jones,, "Here's what 57,000 flowers create at Vegas' Bellagio Conservatory, where love is in the air," 12 July 2018 The young troubadour probably got the idea from his alleged girlfriend, Hailey Baldwin. Kenzie Bryant, Vanities, "Justin Bieber Pump-Faked an Engagement," 22 June 2018 Provided by the Songwriters Hall of Fame Nora Guthrie, daughter of iconic troubadour Woody Guthrie, praised John Mellencamp's tenacious commitment to his musical identity during Thursday's Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "John Mellencamp adds Songwriters Hall of Fame to career accolades," 16 June 2018 Unlike a lot of shows with guitar-strumming interlopers, McCoy’s not used as a clumsy strolling-troubadour narrative device. Christopher Arnott,, "'Father Comes From the Wars' A Long But Easy To Follow Journey At Yale Rep," 26 Mar. 2018 True, this acclaimed troubadour and Louisiana native has never been in war or served in the Armed Forces. George Varga,, "Mary Gauthier teams with U.S. military war vets to tell their stories in song on 'Rifles & Rosary Beads'," 21 Mar. 2018 In 1999, also to raise money for a relative’s health care, the family sold the studio’s mural set by Maxfield Parrish that depicted Renaissance troubadours and young revelers along a Tuscan loggia. Eve M. Kahn, New York Times, "This Century-Old Mural Was Rescued From a Whitney’s Stairwell," 6 Feb. 2018 Absent fleet footwork, sleek breakdowns or edgy funk, Timberlake’s later turns as an acoustic-guitar-strumming troubadour failed to connect. Bob Gendron,, "Justin Timberlake embraces array of roles at United Center," 28 Mar. 2018 These two true troubadours may be among the best songwriters in music, regardless of genre. Chuck Yarborough,, "Montgomery Gentry, Shawn Colvin & Lyle Lovett take over Also Playing," 13 Mar. 2018

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

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First Known Use of troubadour

circa 1741, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for troubadour

French, from Old Occitan trobador, from trobar to compose, from Vulgar Latin *tropare, from Latin tropus trope

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The first known use of troubadour was circa 1741

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English Language Learners Definition of troubadour

: a writer and performer of songs or poetry in the Middle Ages

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What made you want to look up troubadour? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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