• synonyms


[pas-tuh-rahl, -ral, -rah-lee, pah-stuh-; Italian pahs-taw-rah-le]
noun, plural pas·to·rales, pas·to·ra·li [pas-tuh-rah-lee, -ral-ee; Italian pahs-taw-rah-lee] /ˌpæs təˈrɑ li, -ˈræl i; Italian ˌpɑs tɔˈrɑ li/. Music.
  1. an opera, cantata, or the like, with a pastoral subject.
  2. a piece of music suggestive of pastoral life.
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Origin of pastorale

1715–25; < Italian, noun use of pastorale pastoral
Can be confusedpastoral pastorale
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pastorale

Historical Examples

  • He loved the "Pastorale" almost without knowing that he loved it.

    The Call of the Blood

    Robert Smythe Hichens

  • "I should like to hear the 'Pastorale' now," she said, presently.

    The Call of the Blood

    Robert Smythe Hichens

  • The goatherds ought to be playing the 'Pastorale' down there!

  • Pastorale excerptum (perhaps merely an extract from the letters).

  • Consequently, to get up a Pastorale, a whole winter is not too long.

    Basque Legends

    Wentworth Webster

British Dictionary definitions for pastorale


noun plural -rales music
  1. a composition evocative of rural life, characterized by moderate compound duple or quadruple time and sometimes a droning accompaniment
  2. a musical play based on a rustic story, popular during the 16th century
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Word Origin

C18: Italian, from Latin: pastoral
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 pastorale


musical composition from rustic tunes or representing pastoral scenes," 1724, from Italian pastorale, noun use of adjective, from Latin pastoralis (see pastoral).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper