roundelay [roun-dl-ey] ExamplesWord Origin noun

  1. a song in which a phrase, line, or the like, is continually repeated.
  2. the music for such a song.
  3. a dance in a circle; round dance.

Origin of roundelay 1565–75; alteration (influenced by lay4) of Middle French rondelet, diminutive of rondel roundel Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019 Examples from the Web for roundelay Historical Examples of roundelay

  • His smile was bright and his skip was lightAs he chirruped his roundelay.

    The Book of Humorous Verse


  • W—— paused for another second or two; but then went on with his roundelay.

    Practical Education, Volume I

    Maria Edgeworth

  • Why sing a roundelay that means no more than Choctaw to a Turk?

    Uncle Walt [Walt Mason]

    Walt Mason

  • Voices rippled from chantey to roundelay and back to chantey again.

    Strange Stories of the Great Valley

    Abbie Johnston Grosvenor

  • Today, she drums the roundelay of the Lupanars on the back of my neck.

    Very Woman

    Remy de Gourmont

  • British Dictionary definitions for roundelay roundelay noun

    1. Also called: roundel a slow medieval dance performed in a circle
    2. a song in which a line or phrase is repeated as a refrain

    Word Origin for roundelay C16: from Old French rondelet a little rondel, from rondel; also influenced by lay 4 Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 Word Origin and History for roundelay n.

    1570s, from Middle French rondelet, diminutive of rondel “short poem with a refrain,” literally “small circle,” diminutive of Old French rond “circle, sphere,” originally an adjective from roont (see round (adj.)). Spelling developed by association with lay (n.) “poem to be sung.”

    Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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