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[troo-buh-dawr, -dohr, -doo r] /ˈtru bəˌdɔr, -ˌdoʊr, -ˌdʊər/
one of a class of medieval lyric poets who flourished principally in southern France from the 11th to 13th centuries, and wrote songs and poems of a complex metrical form in langue d'oc, chiefly on themes of courtly love.
Compare trouvère.
any wandering singer or minstrel.
Origin of troubadour
1720-30; < French < Provençal trobador, equivalent to trob(ar) to find, compose (see trover) + -ador < Latin -ātor -ator Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for troubadours
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The existence of the Jongleurs gradually undermined that of the troubadours, as the former grew more and more proficient.

    Woman's Work in Music Arthur Elson
  • The rise of the troubadours is due wholly to Oriental influences.

    Woman's Work in Music Arthur Elson
  • It is not at all an evolution of the literature of the troubadours; it is in no way like it.

    Frdric Mistral Charles Alfred Downer
  • I lived at the court of Avalon, the home of Love and troubadours.

    Under the Witches' Moon Nathan Gallizier
  • He wrote many love-songs, many of which owe their existence to those of the troubadours.

    Studies in Medival Life and Literature Edward Tompkins McLaughlin
  • The verses of the troubadours and the trouvres were very licentious.

    Women of History Anonymous
  • The flourishing time of the troubadours was in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.

    Classic French Course in English William Cleaver Wilkinson
  • The sentimental agonies of troubadours and minstrels make it evident.

    Is Polite Society Polite? Julia Ward Howe
  • The troubadours must not be confounded with the jougleurs (more commonly written jongleurs).

    Critical & Historical Essays Edward MacDowell
British Dictionary definitions for troubadours


any of a class of lyric poets who flourished principally in Provence and N Italy from the 11th to the 13th centuries, writing chiefly on courtly love in complex metric form
a singer
Word Origin
C18: from French, from Old Provençal trobador, from trobar to write verses, perhaps ultimately from Latin tropustrope
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 troubadours



1727, from French troubadour "one of a class of lyric poets in southern France, eastern Spain, and northern Italy 11c.-13c.," from Old Provençal trobador, from trobar "to find," earlier "invent a song, compose in verse," perhaps from Vulgar Latin *tropare "compose, sing," especially in the form of tropes, from Latin tropus "a song" (see trope). The alternative theory among French etymologists derives the Old Provençal word from a metathesis of Latin turbare "to disturb," via a sense of "to turn up." Meanwhile, Arabists posit an origin in Arabic taraba "to sing." General sense of "one who composes or sings verses or ballads" first recorded 1826.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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troubadours in Culture

troubadours definition

Traveling poet-musicians who flourished in southern Europe during the twelfth century. They wrote songs about chivalry and love.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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