Definition of serenade in English:



  • 1A piece of music sung or played in the open air, typically by a man at night under the window of his beloved.

    • ‘When she emerges fresh faced and sleepy from below deck after a night of passion, greeted by a serenade from the crew, it took my breath away.’
    • ‘At the end of the meal he surprised her with a serenade by a gentleman who sang something French to her.’
    • ‘She had chosen ‘Morning Has Broken’ for her serenade.’
    • ‘Whisper sweet nothings in her ear, enchant her with roses and a serenade and woo her and make her swoon.’
    • ‘When it comes to impressing your future someone, no amount of borrowed tunes can beat a handmade serenade.’
    • ‘You need to tell us how you were reciting epic poetry, and making her swoon with a beautiful serenade!’
    • ‘Ross did ask him to discontinue an impromptu serenade of Terri, who was embarrassed and upset by her ex-husband singing love songs to her over the plane's microphone.’
    • ‘This story is not, and I repeat NOT a romantic fairy tale where the prince brings the princess flowers and serenades her from beneath the bay window of her bedroom.’
    • ‘Maybe sing me a serenade and beg for my forgiveness again.’
    • ‘She was physically fragile but he turned on the charm: dancing, chats, moonlight serenades outside her hotel window.’
    • ‘He is on his way to your place, right now: expect strumming and moonlit serenades outside bedroom windows.’
    • ‘No more gilt harpsichords or violin serenades played to me from outside my bedroom window.’
    • ‘The rondalla, a traditional music ensemble, consists of plucked and bowed string instruments to accompany social dancing and suitors' serenades.’
    • ‘It makes me melancholy sometimes to think of such things, and my friends try to cheer me up with impromptu concerts and serenades at my window.’
    • ‘And then of course, there are the public ordinances forbidding off-key driveway serenades.’
    1. 1.1
      another term for serenata
      • ‘The Romance, from 1929, was originally going to be part of a string serenade.’
      • ‘In the 18th century a serenade was a piece of instrumental music of up to ten movements, scored for a small ensemble, usually with a predominance of wind instruments.’
      • ‘What more pleasure can there be than putting sound to Mozart in these elegant serenades?’
      • ‘We have already had excellent accounts of Beethoven and Mozart symphonies and serenades and now it is the turn of some exquisite Haydn and Schubert symphonies.’
      • ‘It's a compilation of two night-themed serenades by Mozart, a ‘toy symphony’ by his father, and three Mozart-inspired works by composers from the former Soviet Union.’
      • ‘The Serenade for Strings contains also a delectable waltz.’
      • ‘His seventh and eighth symphonies get an occasional airing, as do the serenade for strings and the robust violin concerto.’
      • ‘Rochberg's finale, which he calls an alternation between scherzos and serenades, introduces another borrowed style, this time Mahler in rapturous D major starting just over two minutes into the movement.’
      • ‘It features two serenades for strings, by Dvorák and Elgar, preceded by Grieg's Holberg Suite.’
      • ‘Each chapter is presented as a scene, with the characters delivering arias, serenades or laments - again with a modern touch.’


  • Entertain (someone) with a serenade.

    ‘a strolling guitarist serenades the diners’
    • ‘The scene in which Christie Smith tinkles the keyboard and serenades Mel in his club goes nowhere and adds nothing to the plot.’
    • ‘I'd told him on our first date that the most romantic thing to me would be having a guy that couldn't sing serenade me.’
    • ‘And many of the new singers are serenading him in style.’
    • ‘No longer would courtly ladies be gently serenaded by love-struck balladeers - The Taming Of The Shrew threw out any notion of wooing and replaced it with a more martial one.’
    • ‘I couldn't have felt more ecstatic if the heavens had opened up and serenaded me with a chorus of angelic voices.’
    • ‘Smitten, Freddy later haunts Higgins' house and serenades Eliza with the beautiful melody, ‘On the Street Where you Live’.’
    • ‘If it is a love song, then he might be serenading that friend of his.’
    • ‘I wasn't standing outside his house everyday serenading him with gushy love songs.’
    • ‘Traveling minstrels serenaded their clients with bawdy or heroic tales set to music.’
    • ‘Blue serenades Alice, mouthing the words of the song and eventually Alice joins in, singing Juliet's words.’
    • ‘A band member got an extra special birthday treat when his fellow musicians marched up his street and serenaded him.’
    • ‘There was Larry, the man with no teeth and no hair but a lovely voice, who enjoyed serenading anyone who'd listen.’


Mid 17th century: from French sérénade, from Italian serenata, from sereno serene.