Word of the Day : May 25, 2012


noun TROO-buh-dor


1 : a lyric poet or musician who performed chiefly in southern France and northern Italy in the 11th through 13th centuries

2 : a singer especially of folk songs

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.


The small coffeehouse includes a performance space where troubadours from all over can come to play music for the other patrons.

"A tango diva and modern troubadour, [Maria] Volonté is an ardent singer-songwriter who lives true to her spirit, a spirit that has sent her on a lifelong expedition across countries and cultures through myriad musical styles." - From a review by Milton D. Carrero in The Morning Call (Allentown, Pennsylvania), April 20, 2012

Test Your Memory

What word completes this sentence from a recent Word of the Day piece: "Aunt Mabel claimed she had the magic touch to __________ a cranky baby, and indeed, as soon as she picked up her infant nephew he settled right down"? The answer is ...


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!