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 serenader

Historical Examples of serenader

  • If you were an Ethiopian serenader, you would be a loss to me.

    The Heir of Redclyffe

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • Then night came: the maja stood at her reja10, looking out for her serenader.


    R. H. Busk

  • It was a picture of Sherry, the serenader of the camp the summer before.

  • She took the persistent one, Wilbur Minafer, no breaker of bass viols or of hearts, no serenader at all.

  • It was now acting and re-acting on the lining of the serenader's olfactory organ in a manner to threaten final decapitation.

    Flamsted quarries

    Mary E. Waller

British Dictionary definitions for serenader



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 serenader



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