One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A rondeau, especially one of thirteen or fourteen lines set in three stanzas, with only two rhymes throughout and a two line refrain that opens the poem and recurs at the end of the second and third stanzas.
- ‘We are still writing sonnets, villanelles, sestinas, even pantoums and triolets, ballades and rondels, as well as inventing ‘nonce’ forms to suit our uses.’
- ‘Like all the poems in the cycle, it is cast as a rondel, with an ironic (here italicised) refrain.’
- ‘Does it matter whether one writes villanelles, rondels, sestinas or kyrielles?’
2A circular object or shape.‘at the point where these paths join there is a rondel with a fountain’
- ‘In those cases, any visible rank, name tag and the Air Force rondel on the aircraft are removed using photo software.’
Middle English: from Old French, from rond ‘round’; compare with roundel.
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