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[jong-gler; French zhawn-glœr] /ˈdʒɒŋ glər; French ʒɔ̃ˈglœr/
noun, plural jongleurs
[jong-glerz; French zhawn-glœr] /ˈdʒɒŋ glərz; French ʒɔ̃ˈglœr/ (Show IPA)
(in medieval France and Norman England) an itinerant minstrel or entertainer who sang songs, often of his own composition, and told stories.
Compare goliard.
Origin of jongleur
1755-65; < French; Middle French jougleur (perhaps by misreading, ou being read on), Old French jogleor < Latin joculātor joker, equivalent to joculā(rī) to joke + -tor -tor Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for jongleur
Historical Examples
  • The troubadour, minstrel and jongleur or joglar, were not the same in dignity.

  • Their name, "jongleur," like "charity," covers a multitude of sins.

    Life on a Mediaeval Barony William Stearns Davis
  • But what is monk's or jongleur's lore compared with the true business of a born cavalier?

    Life on a Mediaeval Barony William Stearns Davis
  • A jongleur was a singer who was not a poet, though he might make songs.

  • The jongleur in the hall played upon his crowth, and sang them Serventes, Lays, and songs of battle.

    The Serf Guy Thorne
  • As the minstrel was termed in French jongleur and jugleur; so he was called in Spanish jutglar and juglar.

  • After supper they must go immediately to bed, unless with the remainder of the castle they sit up for a jongleur.

    Life on a Mediaeval Barony William Stearns Davis
  • A jongleur is always received heartily and entertained with the best; the payment will be in songs and tricks after supper.

    Life on a Mediaeval Barony William Stearns Davis
  • Silent he stood before her, still as an effigy, while meltingly the jongleur sang.

    Chivalry James Branch Cabell
  • Every jongleur, when he runs out of more legitimate stories, chatters about godless priests.

    Life on a Mediaeval Barony William Stearns Davis
British Dictionary definitions for jongleur


/French ʒɔ̃ɡlœr/
(in medieval France) an itinerant minstrel
Word Origin
C18: from Old French jogleour, from Latin joculātor joker, jester; see juggle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for jongleur

"wandering minstrel," 1779, from Norman-French jongleur, variant of Old French jogleor, from Latin ioculator "jester, joker" (see juggler). Revived in a technical sense by modern writers.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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