trou·​ba·​dour | \ ˈtrü-bə-ˌdȯr How to pronounce troubadour (audio) , -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 Apple first rose to fame as a troubadour of sad songs gilded with rage, her voice burning with emotion. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Fiona Apple Gets Free," 21 Apr. 2020 Roberts’ music reflects a rustic southern sound with elements of Delta blues and Texas country troubadours. Anchorage Daily News, "AK Quarantunes: Roland Roberts performs ‘Keep Movin’ On’," 20 Apr. 2020 Standup comedians, slam poets, troubadours, evangelists, and grandparents the world over enhance or embellish stories -- but these stories should always contain a kernel of truth. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: Friend’s story embellishments put strain on relationship," 25 Apr. 2020 Bob Dylan, Christmas in the Heart (2009) Bob Dylan's Christmas in the Heart juxtaposes the legendary folk troubadour's exaggerated rasp with mostly straightforward interpretations of familiar seasonal classics. Sal Cinquemani, Billboard, "21 Best Christmas Albums of the 21st Century," 17 Dec. 2019 But the history of Laurel Canyon dates back much farther than aging troubadours. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "If you want your vacation to be unconventional — even bizarre — you best start singing ‘I Love L.A.’," 6 Feb. 2020 Monday night’s showcase got its auspicious start with Capaldi, a Scottish troubadour in the mode of Ed Sheeran, only with a firmer voice and more self-lacerating stage banter. Chris Richards, Washington Post, "Jingle Ball is still a corporate pop holiday party. But it’s still magic, too.," 17 Dec. 2019 The idea for a city troubadour came from John Q. Gale, the assistant majority leader of the council. Susan Dunne,, "Hartford searching for five honorary artists: Applications open for troubadour, commentator, storyteller, flow artist and earth artist," 1 Nov. 2019 In this show Tully, a guitar-playing troubadour and bartender, is working at the Margaritaville Hotel. Rod Stafford Hagwood,, "Broadway buff Jimmy Buffett excited to see ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ in Fort Lauderdale," 12 Nov. 2019

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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Cite this Entry

“Troubadour.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce troubadour (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of troubadour

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

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