Definition of villanella in US English:


nounPlural villanelle, Plural villanellas

  • A form of Italian part-song originating in Naples in the 16th century, in rustic style with a vigorous rhythm.

    • ‘His secular vocal music, monodic and polyphonic, is mainly contained in five volumes of Musiche, and ten volumes of madrigals and villanellas (Milan, Naples, Venice, Rome, 1606-24).’
    • ‘These arias and villanellas, composed by a singer and continuo player, a rhetorician and philosopher, who accompanied his own songs on the harp or the Spanish guitar, constitute a miniature art form of concentrated perfection’.’


Italian, feminine of villanello ‘rural’, diminutive of villano ‘peasant’.