Definition of troubadour in US English:



  • 1A French medieval lyric poet composing and singing in Provençal in the 11th to 13th centuries, especially on the theme of courtly love.

    • ‘Only the wealthy could afford elaborate tombs, commission altarpieces or frescos, or had the time and skills required to record the ballads sung by troubadours at court or peasants in the fields.’
    • ‘News of what scholars call the most famous scandal of 12 th century France spread through contemporary Europe by word of mouth, in poetry, and in the songs of troubadours.’
    • ‘The term buskers originates from an old French word for troubadours - minstrels, love singers or poets.’
    • ‘In the 13 th century, French troubadours wrote love-thwarted tales in a poetry-prose mix.’
    • ‘Provenal literature in the medieval period consisted chiefly of the lyric poetry composed by the troubadours for the feudal courts of the Midi, northern Italy, and Spain.’
    minstrel, singer, balladeer, poet
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A poet who writes verse to music.
      • ‘Tim saw himself as a troubadour, a poet singing from the heart.’
      • ‘What unites them is a troubadour's gift for a lyric that has you listening attentively for the next line, often with a smile or a raised eyebrow, occasionally with alarm.’
      • ‘Jacques Brel, a Belgian, was one of the great modern troubadours in the French language.’
      • ‘Near the end of their set, their music mellowed considerably, going for more of a folky troubadour vibe.’
      • ‘This is a great piece of work from a veteran troubadour, and should be a prominent part of your music collection.’


French, from Provençal trobador, from trobar ‘find, invent, compose in verse’.