Definition of ballade in English:



  • 1A poem consisting of one or more triplets of stanzas with a repeated refrain and an envoi.

    • ‘The complete Latin versions of these two ballades are included at the end of this article.’
    • ‘Within the squares of a chessboard, he has inscribed diverse phrases that can be recombined to form thirty-eight separate ballades.’
    • ‘The rondeau, virelai, and ballade have refrains as part of the poetic structure of their texts; these are distinct, though related.’
    • ‘We are still writing sonnets, villanelles, sestinas, even pantoums and triolets, ballades and rondels, as well as inventing ‘nonce’ forms to suit our uses.’
    • ‘There were ballades, chants royal, kyrielles, sestinas, triolets, villanelles, and virelais to play with, and poets of varying merit had a go.’
    • ‘As if to defy the Depression, newspapers put a premium on cleverness, challenging readers with ballades and triolets, rhyming versions of operas, travelogues in verse.’
  • 2A piece of music in romantic style with dramatic elements, typically for piano.

    • ‘The legend upon which the ballade is based is just ghoulish enough to appeal to a teenager whose favorite pastime was watching horror movies.’
    • ‘His performance of the first ballade was effective and powerful.’
    • ‘Still, there is considerable personal concern in this ballade; Charles hopes that the influential Philippe and Isabelle won't forget him, and he needs desperately the help of friends.’
    • ‘Every now and then they stretch to a nocturne (average running time: five minutes) or polonaise (around six minutes), but seldom a ballade (close to ten).’
    • ‘Throughout his career, Brahms favored three-part form as the primary organizational type for his ballades.’
    • ‘The ballade, perhaps an 1848 homage to Liszt's soon-to-be-dead friend Chopin, was played every bit as tempestuously as one could wish for.’
    • ‘His arias became more expressive in the 1840s, but he also continued to use popular song types such as barcarolles, ballades, and chansons.’
    • ‘Gone are the days of programming a Bach prelude & fugue, a Beethoven sonata, a Chopin ballade and then ending with the Prokofiev Toccata.’
    • ‘The author takes the coda of the Chopin F Minor ballade as an example.’
    • ‘I find the fourth the most ruminative of Chopin's ballades.’
    • ‘His handling of the larger pieces, especially those where narrative played the predominant role, such as the ballades, was inconsistent.’
    • ‘The dramatic ballades that Goerne chooses - Belsazar, Die beiden Granadiere, and Die LÃwenbraut - offer their greatness only very reluctantly.’
    • ‘After a few giggles from the members of the class, Pfeiffer continued with the second ballade of the Opus 10 set.’
    • ‘Although I found his interpretation of the sonata a shade tame, the variations and ballades breathe a truly Olympian spirit of resigned grief.’
    • ‘Schumann wrote that the poetry of Adam Mickiewicz gave Chopin the rhythms for parts of his ballades, although I don't know if anyone can really say exactly which poems.’
    • ‘This song is an example of the ballade, one of the formes fixes, song patterns favored by the troubadours and trouvères.’
    • ‘His rondeaux and many of his ballades combine different, often highly syncopated, rhythms.’
    • ‘In the ballade to Philippe, then, the ‘cueur en gage’ likely would not seem particularly clever or pointedly topical.’
    • ‘He has the power required for the emotive climaxes of the two ballades, and he can scale his sound back for Chopin's more confessional writing.’
    • ‘To me, he plays it as if it were one of the Chopin ballades.’


Late Middle English: earlier spelling and pronunciation of ballad.