[ mad-ri-guh l ]
/ ˈmæd rɪ gəl /


a secular part song without instrumental accompaniment, usually for four to six voices, making abundant use of contrapuntal imitation, popular especially in the 16th and 17th centuries.
a lyric poem suitable for being set to music, usually short and often of amatory character, especially fashionable in the 16th century and later, in Italy, France, England, etc.
any part song.

Origin of madrigal

1580–90; < Italian madrigale < Medieval Latin mātricāle something simple, noun use of neuter of Late Latin mātricālis literally, of the womb. See matrix, -al1


mad·ri·gal·esque, adjectivemad·ri·gal·i·an [mad-ruh-gal-ee-uh n, -gal-yuh n, -gey-lee-uh n] /ˌmæd rəˈgæl i ən, -ˈgæl yən, -ˈgeɪ li ən/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for madrigal

British Dictionary definitions for madrigal

/ (ˈmædrɪɡəl) /


music a type of 16th- or 17th-century part song for unaccompanied voices with an amatory or pastoral textCompare glee (def. 2)
a 14th-century Italian song, related to a pastoral stanzaic verse form

Derived forms of madrigal

madrigalesque, adjectivemadrigalian (ˌmædrɪˈɡælɪən, -ˈɡeɪ-), adjectivemadrigalist, noun

Word Origin for madrigal

C16: from Italian, from Medieval Latin mātricāle primitive, apparently from Latin mātrīcālis of the womb, from matrīx womb
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