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roundelay

[roun-dl-ey]
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noun
  1. a song in which a phrase, line, or the like, is continually repeated.
  2. the music for such a song.
  3. a dance in a circle; round dance.

Origin of roundelay

1565–75; alteration (influenced by lay4) of Middle French rondelet, diminutive of rondel roundel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for roundelay

Historical Examples

  • His smile was bright and his skip was lightAs he chirruped his roundelay.

    The Book of Humorous Verse

    Various

  • W—— paused for another second or two; but then went on with his roundelay.

  • Why sing a roundelay that means no more than Choctaw to a Turk?

  • Voices rippled from chantey to roundelay and back to chantey again.

    Strange Stories of the Great Valley

    Abbie Johnston Grosvenor

  • Today, she drums the roundelay of the Lupanars on the back of my neck.

    Very Woman

    Remy de Gourmont


British Dictionary definitions for roundelay

roundelay

noun
  1. Also called: roundel a slow medieval dance performed in a circle
  2. a song in which a line or phrase is repeated as a refrain

Word Origin

C16: from Old French rondelet a little rondel, from rondel; also influenced by lay 4
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 roundelay

n.

1570s, from Middle French rondelet, diminutive of rondel "short poem with a refrain," literally "small circle," diminutive of Old French rond "circle, sphere," originally an adjective from roont (see round (adj.)). Spelling developed by association with lay (n.) "poem to be sung."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper