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
troubadour was our Word of the Day on 05/25/2012. Hear the podcast!
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.
Origin and Etymology of troubadour
French, from Old Occitan trobador, from trobar to compose, from Vulgar Latin *tropare, from Latin tropus trope
First Known Use: circa 1741
TROUBADOUR Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of troubadour for English Language Learners
: a writer and performer of songs or poetry in the Middle Ages
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up troubadour? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).