Definition of minstrel in English:

minstrel

Line breaks: min|strel
Pronunciation: /ˈmɪnstr(ə)l
 
/

noun

  • 1A medieval singer or musician, especially one who sang or recited lyric or heroic poetry to a musical accompaniment for the nobility: they listened to the minstrels singing songs of knightly prowess
    More example sentences
    • Poetry is often sung by minstrels and ballad singers.
    • Although most of their verse was set to music, sung by the Minnesinger themselves and often accompanied by professional minstrels, few melodies have survived from the first two centuries of the movement's existence.
    • They were meant for minstrels to sing in baronial halls.
    Synonyms
    musician, singer, balladeer
    historical bard, troubadour, jongleur
    rare joculator
  • 1.1chiefly • historical A member of a band of entertainers with blackened faces who performed songs and music ostensibly of black American origin.
    More example sentences
    • Picking up where Elder Eatmore had left off, black entertainers continued to use minstrel antics into the 1940s and 1950s to parody and satirize black folk religion.
    • Later in his career, Douglass became a vocal opponent of minstrel humor, performed either by blacks or whites.
    • His career, which included stints as an amateur boxer, minstrel in black face and dancer, spanned seven decades in which he starred in five mediums: vaudeville, radio, stage, movies and television.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French menestral 'entertainer, servant', via Provençal from late Latin ministerialis 'servant' (see ministerial).

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