[ French ber-sœz ]
/ French bɛrˈsœz /

noun, plural ber·ceuses [French ber-sœz] /French bɛrˈsœz/. Music.

a cradlesong; lullaby.
a composition for instrument or voice, having a soothing, reflective character.


Nearby words

  1. berberine,
  2. berberis,
  3. berbers,
  4. berbice,
  5. berbice chair,
  6. berchta,
  7. berchtesgaden,
  8. bercy,
  9. berdache,
  10. berdichev

Origin of berceuse

1875–80; < French, equivalent to berc(er) to rock + -euse -euse Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for berceuse

  • Every violinist plays, or ought to play, his delicious "Berceuse."

  • When d'Albert plays Chopin's Berceuse, beautifully, it is a lullaby for healthy male children growing too big for the cradle.

  • The plaintive melody of the berceuse rang in her ears on duty and off, till at last she could stand it no longer.

    Leerie|Ruth Sawyer
  • If you would like some more, I will play you the Berceuse now.

British Dictionary definitions for berceuse


/ (French bɛrsøz) /


a cradlesong or lullaby
an instrumental piece suggestive of this, in six-eight time

Word Origin for berceuse

C19: from French: lullaby, from bercer to rock

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 berceuse



"cradle song," 1876, from French berceuse "cradle-song, woman who rocks an infant," from bercer "to rock" (Old French bercier "to rock" a child in a cradle, 12c.) + fem. agent suffix -euse.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper