[min-struh l-see]


the art or practice of a minstrel.
minstrels' songs, ballads, etc.: a collection of Scottish minstrelsy.

Origin of minstrelsy

1275–1325; Middle English minstralcie (< Anglo-French menestralsie) < Anglo-Latin ministralcia, menestralcia. See minstrel, -cy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for minstrelsy

Contemporary Examples of minstrelsy

  • The Madea films thrive on an ugly mix of minstrelsy and moralism.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Tyler Perry’s Madea Minstrel Show

    Rawiya Kameir

    December 13, 2013

  • The drop below his signal eloquence was a submission to the kind of minstrelsy demanded of anyone, high or low, these days.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Obama Loses His Cool

    Stanley Crouch

    June 9, 2010

  • I soon thought of this new and amoral cynicism as the most pernicious form of minstrelsy ever created and popularized.

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    The Hip Hop Inauguration

    Stanley Crouch

    December 19, 2008

Historical Examples of minstrelsy

British Dictionary definitions for minstrelsy


noun plural -sies

the art of a minstrel
the poems, music, or songs of a minstrel
a troupe of minstrels
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 minstrelsy

c.1300, menstracie, "music as produced on an instrument; action of making music for entertainment; musicians or entertainers generally," from Anglo-French menestralsie, from Old French menestrel (see minstrel).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper