[ vil-uh-nel ]
/ ˌvɪl əˈnɛl /

noun Prosody.

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

Definition for villanelle (2 of 2)


[ vil-uh-nel-uh; Italian veel-lah-nel-lah ]
/ ˌvɪl əˈnɛl ə; Italian ˌvil lɑˈnɛl lɑ /

noun, plural vil·la·nel·le [vil-uh-nel-ee; Italian veel-lah-nel-le] /ˌvɪl əˈnɛl i; Italian ˌvil lɑˈnɛl lɛ/.

a rustic Italian part song without accompaniment.

Origin of villanella

1590–1600; < Italian, feminine of villanello rural, rustic, equivalent to villan(o) peasant, boor (see villain) + -ello -ish Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for villanelle

British Dictionary definitions for villanelle (1 of 2)


/ (ˌvɪləˈnɛl) /


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

Word Origin for villanelle

C16: from French, from Italian villanella

British Dictionary definitions for villanelle (2 of 2)


/ (ˌvɪləˈnɛlə) /

noun plural -las

a type of part song originating in Naples during the 16th century

Word Origin for villanella

C16: from Italian, from villano rustic, from Late Latin vīllānus; see villain
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