• synonyms


[ron-doh, ron-doh]
noun, plural ron·deaux [ron-dohz, ron-dohz] /ˈrɒn doʊz, rɒnˈdoʊz/.
  1. Prosody. a short poem of fixed form, consisting of 13 or 10 lines on two rhymes and having the opening words or phrase used in two places as an unrhymed refrain.
  2. a 13th-century monophonic song form consisting of two phrases, each repeated several times, and occurring in the 14th and 15th centuries in polyphonic settings.
  3. a 17th-century musical form consisting of a refrain alternating with contrasting couplets, developing in the 18th century into the sonata-rondo form.
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Origin of rondeau

1515–25; < Middle French: little circle; see rondel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rondeau

Historical Examples of rondeau

  • What shall I weave for thee—what shall I spin— Rondel, or rondeau, or virelai?

    The Book of Humorous Verse


  • The triolet is a sort of abbreviation of the second variety of rondeau.

  • My old friend Gershom has very slyly written a rondeau to me.

    The Prairie Child

    Arthur Stringer

  • The rondeau was much cultivated by the French poet, Clment Marot.

  • Villon has varied the rondeau so as to use for a refrain a single syllable.

    Rhymes and Meters

    Horatio Winslow

British Dictionary definitions for rondeau


noun plural -deaux (-dəʊ, -dəʊz)
  1. a poem consisting of 13 or 10 lines with two rhymes and having the opening words of the first line used as an unrhymed refrainSee also roundel
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Word Origin for rondeau

C16: from Old French, from rondel a little round, from rond round
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 rondeau


1520s, from Middle French rondeau, from Old French rondel "short poem" (see rondel). Metrical form of 10 or 13 lines with only two rhymes.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper