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[vil-uh-nel] /ˌvɪl əˈnɛl/
noun, Prosody.
a short poem of fixed form, written in tercets, usually five in number, followed by a final quatrain, all being based on two rhymes.
Origin of villanelle
1580-90; < French < Italian; see villanella, -elle


[vil-uh-nel-uh; Italian veel-lah-nel-lah] /ˌvɪl əˈnɛl ə; Italian ˌvil lɑˈnɛl lɑ/
noun, plural villanelle
[vil-uh-nel-ee; Italian veel-lah-nel-le] /ˌvɪl əˈnɛl i; Italian ˌvil lɑˈnɛl lɛ/ (Show IPA)
a rustic Italian part song without accompaniment.
1590-1600; < Italian, feminine of villanello rural, rustic, equivalent to villan(o) peasant, boor (see villain) + -ello -ish Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for villanelle


a verse form of French origin consisting of 19 lines arranged in five tercets and a quatrain. The first and third lines of the first tercet recur alternately at the end of each subsequent tercet and both together at the end of the quatrain
Word Origin
C16: from French, from Italian villanella


noun (pl) -las
a type of part song originating in Naples during the 16th century
Word Origin
C16: from Italian, from villano rustic, from Late Latin vīllānus; see villain
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 villanelle

1580s, from French villanelle, from Italian villanella "ballad, rural song," from fem. of villanello "rustic," from Medieval Latin villanus (see villain). As a poetic form, five 3-lined stanzas and a final quatrain, with only two rhymes throughout, usually of pastoral or lyric nature.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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