- Prosody. a short poem of fixed form, consisting of 13 or 10 lines on two rhymes and having the opening words or phrase used in two places as an unrhymed refrain.
- a 13th-century monophonic song form consisting of two phrases, each repeated several times, and occurring in the 14th and 15th centuries in polyphonic settings.
- a 17th-century musical form consisting of a refrain alternating with contrasting couplets, developing in the 18th century into the sonata-rondo form.
Origin of rondeau
1515–25; < Middle French: little circle; see rondel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for rondeau
What shall I weave for thee—what shall I spin— Rondel, or rondeau, or virelai?The Book of Humorous Verse
The triolet is a sort of abbreviation of the second variety of rondeau.The Principles of English Versification
Paull Franklin Baum
My old friend Gershom has very slyly written a rondeau to me.The Prairie Child
The rondeau was much cultivated by the French poet, Clment Marot.A History of English Versification
Villon has varied the rondeau so as to use for a refrain a single syllable.Rhymes and Meters
- a poem consisting of 13 or 10 lines with two rhymes and having the opening words of the first line used as an unrhymed refrainSee also roundel
C16: from Old French, from rondel a little round, from rond round
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
Word Origin and History for rondeau
1520s, from Middle French rondeau, from Old French rondel "short poem" (see rondel). Metrical form of 10 or 13 lines with only two rhymes.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper