a complimentary performance of vocal or instrumental music in the open air at night, as by a lover under the window of his lady.
a piece of music suitable for such performance.

verb (used with or without object), ser·e·nad·ed, ser·e·nad·ing.

to entertain with or perform a serenade.

Origin of serenade

1640–50; < French sérénade < Italian serenata; see serenata
Related formsser·e·nad·er, nounun·ser·e·nad·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for serenaded

Contemporary Examples of serenaded

Historical Examples of serenaded

  • And while I dreamed I was serenaded by a band of mosquitoes.

    Gov. Bob. Taylor's Tales

    Robert L. Taylor

  • We serenaded them with college songs and offered refreshments.

    Daddy Long-Legs

    Jean Webster

  • They had a band and serenaded him in the White House until he came forth.

    The Lincoln Story Book

    Henry L. Williams

  • There were rockets, and portfire, and a huge bonfire, while the President was serenaded.

    The Lincoln Story Book

    Henry L. Williams

  • In the evening he was serenaded, and his speech was two lines and a half in length.

British Dictionary definitions for serenaded



a piece of music appropriate to the evening, characteristically played outside the house of a woman
a piece of music indicative or suggestive of this
an extended composition in several movements similar to the modern suite or divertimento


(tr) to play a serenade for (someone)
(intr) to play a serenade
Compare aubade
Derived Formsserenader, noun

Word Origin for serenade

C17: from French sérénade, from Italian serenata, from sereno peaceful, from Latin serēnus calm; also influenced in meaning by Italian sera evening, from Latin sērus late
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 serenaded



1640s, "musical performance at night in open air" (especially one given by a lover under the window of his lady), from French sérénade (16c.), from Italian serenata "an evening song," literally "calm sky," from sereno "the open air," noun use of sereno "clear, calm," from Latin serenus "peaceful, calm, serene." Sense influenced by Italian sera "evening," from Latin sera, fem. of serus "late." Meaning "piece of music suitable for a serenade" is attested from 1728.



1660s, from serenade (n.). Related: Serenaded; serenading.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper