[ buh-lahd, ba-; French ba-lad ]
/ bəˈlɑd, bæ-; French baˈlad /

noun, plural bal·lades [buh-lahdz, ba-; French ba-lad] /bəˈlɑdz, bæ-; French baˈlad/.

a poem consisting commonly of three stanzas having an identical rhyme scheme, followed by an envoy, and having the same last line for each of the stanzas and the envoy.
Music. a composition in free style and romantic mood, often for solo piano or for orchestra.

Nearby words

  1. ballad,
  2. ballad metre,
  3. ballad of reading gaol, the,
  4. ballad opera,
  5. ballad stanza,
  6. balladeer,
  7. balladic,
  8. balladist,
  9. balladize,
  10. balladmonger

Origin of ballade

1485–95; < Middle French, variant of balade ballad Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ballade

British Dictionary definitions for ballade


/ (bæˈlɑːd, French balad) /


prosody a verse form consisting of three stanzas and an envoy, all ending with the same line. The first three stanzas commonly have eight or ten lines each and the same rhyme scheme
music an instrumental composition, esp for piano, based on or intended to evoke a narrative
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 ballade



late 14c., an earlier borrowing of ballad (q.v.) with a specific metrical sense. Technically, a poem consisting of one or more triplets of seven- (later eight-) lined stanzas, each ending with the same line as the refrain, usually with an envoy. Popularized 19c. as a type of musical composition by Frédéric Chopin. Ballade royal is recorded from late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper