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Word of the Day
Sunday, February 11, 2018

Definitions for berceuse

  1. Music. a cradlesong; lullaby.
  2. Music. a composition for instrument or voice, having a soothing, reflective character.

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Citations for berceuse
The berceuse is so soothing, it ought to send your husband to sleep ... A. R. Goring-Thomas, Wayward Feet, 1912
I love soft songs that soothe me--something cradle-like--a Berceuse, you understand. Fergus Hume, The Man with a Secret, 1890
Origin of berceuse
Berceuse, not yet naturalized in English, still retains its French pronunciation or a semblance of it. Berceuse is an agent noun in French, meaning “girl or woman who rocks a cradle, lullaby,” the feminine of berceur “a cradle rocker.” In English, berceuse is restricted to “lullaby,” especially as a musical composition in 6/8 time, as, e.g., “Brahms’ Lullaby.” Berceuse entered English in the 19th century.