[ vil-uh-nel ]
See synonyms for villanelle on
  1. a short poem of fixed form, written in tercets, usually five in number, followed by a final quatrain, all being based on two rhymes.

Origin of villanelle

1580–90; <French <Italian; see villanella, -elle

Words Nearby villanelle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use villanelle in a sentence

  • Here, as in the villanelle, a change of signification in the repeated lines is thought to add to the charm of the form.

    English Verse | Raymond MacDonald Alden, Ph.D.

British Dictionary definitions for villanelle


/ (ˌvɪləˈnɛl) /

  1. a verse form of French origin consisting of 19 lines arranged in five tercets and a quatrain. The first and third lines of the first tercet recur alternately at the end of each subsequent tercet and both together at the end of the quatrain

Origin of villanelle

C16: from French, from Italian villanella

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