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[pas-tuh-rahl, -ral, -rah-lee, pah-stuh-; Italian pahs-taw-rah-le] /ˌpæs təˈrɑl, -ˈræl, -ˈrɑ li, ˌpɑ stə-; Italian ˌpɑs tɔˈrɑ lɛ/
noun, plural pastorales, pastorali
[pas-tuh-rah-lee, -ral-ee; Italian pahs-taw-rah-lee] /ˌpæs təˈrɑ li, -ˈræl i; Italian ˌpɑs tɔˈrɑ li/ (Show IPA).
an opera, cantata, or the like, with a pastoral subject.
a piece of music suggestive of pastoral life.
Origin of pastorale
1715-25; < Italian, noun use of pastorale pastoral
Can be confused
pastoral, pastorale. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pastorale
Historical Examples
  • He loved the "pastorale" almost without knowing that he loved it.

    The Call of the Blood

    Robert Smythe Hichens
  • "I should like to hear the 'pastorale' now," she said, presently.

    The Call of the Blood

    Robert Smythe Hichens
  • The goatherds ought to be playing the 'pastorale' down there!

  • pastorale excerptum (perhaps merely an extract from the letters).

    The Grey Friars in Oxford Andrew G. Little
  • Consequently, to get up a pastorale, a whole winter is not too long.

    Basque Legends Wentworth Webster
  • After this, the action languishes, Abraham dies, and the pastorale comes to an end.

    Basque Legends Wentworth Webster
  • It is peaceful and soothing, and might be called a pastorale.

    Stars of the Opera Mabel Wagnalls
  • They and pastorale, a song without words, were given at the Soirees in the winter of 1908.

    An Autobiography Igor Stravinsky
  • By the year 1853, it was to be found pretty generally in the gardens of Belgium under the name of pastorale.

    The Pears of New York U. P. Hedrick
  • Jahns memorandum of it is in the following words: Scherzo of the pastorale.

British Dictionary definitions for pastorale


noun (music) (pl) -rales
a composition evocative of rural life, characterized by moderate compound duple or quadruple time and sometimes a droning accompaniment
a musical play based on a rustic story, popular during the 16th century
Word Origin
C18: Italian, from Latin: pastoral
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 pastorale

musical composition from rustic tunes or representing pastoral scenes," 1724, from Italian pastorale, noun use of adjective, from Latin pastoralis (see pastoral).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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