Definition of ballad in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbaləd/


1A poem or song narrating a story in short stanzas. Traditional ballads are typically of unknown authorship, having been passed on orally from one generation to the next.
Example sentences
  • Accentual verse has continued to flourish, however, in a wide range of popular songs, hymns, ballads, and nursery rhymes.
  • He cherished some lovely old books containing the folk songs and traditional ballads of our land.
  • With a traditional ballad you may notice the rhyme scheme or alliteration.
song, folk song, shanty, ditty, canzone;
poem, tale, saga
2A slow sentimental or romantic song.
Example sentences
  • Despite a hugely prolific career, Cole is now best known for a handful of over-played sentimental ballads.
  • A slow, romantic ballad drifted into the air and the crowd turned to look at them.
  • He has recorded everything from the most romantic ballads to movie theme songs, disco, rock and even gospel.



Pronunciation: /ˈbalədɪst/
Example sentences
  • Last year Eller, a riveting balladist, opened for the Rolling Stones in Rio.
  • After the First World War he returned to Egypt and turned from a court bard to a versatile balladist.
  • Through the ages, perhaps no other Arab balladist has been quoted more than this desert bard.


Late 15th century (denoting a light, simple song): from Old French balade, from Provençal balada 'dance, song to dance to', from balar 'to dance', from late Latin ballare (see ball2). The sense 'narrative poem' dates from the mid 18th century.

Words that rhyme with ballad


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: bal¦lad

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