[jong-gler; French zhawn-glœr]

noun, plural jon·gleurs [jong-glerz; French zhawn-glœr] /ˈdʒɒŋ glərz; French ʒɔ̃ˈglœr/.

(in medieval France and Norman England) an itinerant minstrel or entertainer who sang songs, often of his own composition, and told stories.

Compare goliard.

Origin of jongleur

1755–65; < French; Middle French jougleur (perhaps by misreading, ou being read on), Old French jogleor < Latin joculātor joker, equivalent to joculā(rī) to joke + -tor -tor Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jongleur

Historical Examples of jongleur

  • And is not all this what every dissour and jongleur tells us of in his stories of Merlin?

  • Their name, "jongleur," like "charity," covers a multitude of sins.

    Life on a Mediaeval Barony

    William Stearns Davis

  • Far, far away in some distant steading, the jongleur heard the crowing of a cock.

    The Serf

    Guy Thorne

  • A jongleur was a singer who was not a poet, though he might make songs.

  • The troubadour, minstrel and jongleur or joglar, were not the same in dignity.

British Dictionary definitions for jongleur



(in medieval France) an itinerant minstrel

Word Origin for jongleur

C18: from Old French jogleour, from Latin joculātor joker, jester; see juggle
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 jongleur

"wandering minstrel," 1779, from Norman-French jongleur, variant of Old French jogleor, from Latin ioculator "jester, joker" (see juggler). Revived in a technical sense by modern writers.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper