[ pas-tuh-rahl, -ral, -rah-lee, pah-stuh-; Italian pahs-taw-rah-le ]
/ ˌpæs təˈrɑl, -ˈræl, -ˈrɑ li, ˌpɑ stə-; Italian ˌpɑs tɔˈrɑ lɛ /

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.

an opera, cantata, or the like, with a pastoral subject.
a piece of music suggestive of pastoral life.

Nearby words

  1. pastoral epistles,
  2. pastoral letter,
  3. pastoral prayer,
  4. pastoral symphony, the,
  5. pastoral theology,
  6. pastoralism,
  7. pastoralist,
  8. pastoralize,
  9. pastorate,
  10. pastorium

Origin of pastorale

1715–25; < Italian, noun use of pastorale pastoral

Can be confusedpastoral pastorale Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pastorale

British Dictionary definitions for pastorale


/ (ˌpæstəˈrɑːl) /

noun plural -rales music

a composition evocative of rural life, characterized by moderate compound duple or quadruple time and sometimes a droning accompaniment
a musical play based on a rustic story, popular during the 16th century

Word Origin for pastorale

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper