• synonyms


[pi-trahr-kuh n]
adjective Also Pe·trar·chi·an [pi-trahr-kee-uh n] /pɪˈtrɑr ki ən/.
  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of the works of Petrarch.
  2. characteristic or imitative of the style of Petrarch.
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  1. Petrarchist.
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Origin of Petrarchan

First recorded in 1820–30; Petrarch + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for petrarchan

Historical Examples

  • As a result they introduced the Sonnet of the Petrarchan type into England.

    Tudor and Stuart Love Songs


  • Livia Chiavello, of Fabriano, was celebrated as one of the most brilliant representatives of the Petrarchan school.

    Woman in Science

    John Augustine Zahm

  • The form generally used by poets writing in English is what is called the Petrarchan sonnet.

  • This of course was Shakespeare's method, but Shakespeare, as we have seen, was not making Petrarchan sonnets.

Word Origin and History for petrarchan



1827 (Keats uses Petrarchal, 1818), from Francesco Petrarch (Italian Petrarca) the poet (1304-1374).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper