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or virelai

[vir-uh-ley] /ˈvɪr əˌleɪ/
noun, Prosody.
an old French form of short poem, composed of short lines running on two rhymes and having two opening lines recurring at intervals.
any of various similar or other forms of poem, as one consisting of stanzas made up of longer and shorter lines, the lines of each kind rhyming together in each stanza, and having the rhyme of the shorter lines of one stanza forming the rhyme of the longer lines of the next stanza.
a medieval song form providing a musical setting for a virelay but having a formal structure different from that of the poem.
Origin of virelay
1350-1400; Middle English < Old French virelai, alteration (see lay4) of vireli, virli jingle used as the refrain of a song Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for virelai


an old French verse form, rarely used in English, consisting of short lines arranged in stanzas having only two rhymes, and two opening lines recurring at intervals
any of various similar forms
Word Origin
C14: from Old French virelai, probably from vireli (associated with lailay4), meaningless word used as a refrain
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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