< /bəˈlɑdz, bæ-; French baˈlad/.

  1. a poem consisting commonly of three stanzas having an identical rhyme scheme, followed by an envoy, and having the same last line for each of the stanzas and the envoy.
  2. Music. a composition in free style and romantic mood, often for solo piano or for orchestra.


  1. prosody a verse form consisting of three stanzas and an envoy, all ending with the same line. The first three stanzas commonly have eight or ten lines each and the same rhyme scheme
  2. music an instrumental composition, esp for piano, based on or intended to evoke a narrative

late 14c., an earlier borrowing of ballad (q.v.) with a specific metrical sense. Technically, a poem consisting of one or more triplets of seven- (later eight-) lined stanzas, each ending with the same line as the refrain, usually with an envoy. Popularized 19c. as a type of musical composition by Frédéric Chopin. Ballade royal is recorded from late 15c.

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