1. a complimentary performance of vocal or instrumental music in the open air at night, as by a lover under the window of his lady.
  2. a piece of music suitable for such performance.
  3. serenata(def 2).

verb (used with or without object), ser·e·nad·ed, ser·e·nad·ing.

  1. to entertain with or perform a serenade.


  1. a piece of music appropriate to the evening, characteristically played outside the house of a woman
  2. a piece of music indicative or suggestive of this
  3. an extended composition in several movements similar to the modern suite or divertimento


  1. (tr) to play a serenade for (someone)
  2. (intr) to play a serenade

n.1640s, “musical performance at night in open air” (especially one given by a lover under the window of his lady), from French sérénade (16c.), from Italian serenata “an evening song,” literally “calm sky,” from sereno “the open air,” noun use of sereno “clear, calm,” from Latin serenus “peaceful, calm, serene.” Sense influenced by Italian sera “evening,” from Latin sera, fem. of serus “late.” Meaning “piece of music suitable for a serenade” is attested from 1728. v.1660s, from serenade (n.). Related: Serenaded; serenading.

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