What does ballad mean?

Definitions for ballad
ˈbæl ədbal·lad

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word ballad.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. ballad, laynoun

    a narrative song with a recurrent refrain

  2. ballad, laynoun

    a narrative poem of popular origin


  1. balladnoun

    A long song or poem that tells a story.

    The poet composed a ballad praising the heroic exploits of the fallen commander.

  2. balladnoun

    A slow romantic pop song.

    On Friday nights, the roller rink had a time-block called "Lovers' Lap" when they played nothing but ballads on the overhead speakers.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Balladnoun

    A song.

    Etymology: balade, Fr.

    Ballad once signified a solemn and sacred song, as well as trivial, when Solomon’s Song was called the ballad of ballads; but now it is applied to nothing but trifling verse. Isaac Watts.

    An’ I have not ballads made on you all, and sung to filthy tunes, may a cup of sack be my poison. William Shakespeare, Henry IV.

    Like the sweet ballad, this amusing lay
    Too long detains the lover on his way. John Gay, Trivia.

  2. To Balladverb

    To make or sing ballads.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Saucy lictors
    Will catch at us like strumpets, and scall’d rhimers
    Ballad us out o’ tune. William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Balladnoun

    a popular kind of narrative poem, adapted for recitation or singing; as, the ballad of Chevy Chase; esp., a sentimental or romantic poem in short stanzas

  2. Balladverb

    to make or sing ballads

  3. Balladverb

    to make mention of in ballads


  1. Ballad

    A ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music. Ballads derive from the medieval French chanson balladée or ballade, which were originally "dancing songs". Ballads were particularly characteristic of the popular poetry and song of the British Isles from the later medieval period until the 19th century and used extensively across Europe and later the Americas, Australia and North Africa. Many ballads were written and sold as single sheet broadsides. The form was often used by poets and composers from the 18th century onwards to produce lyrical ballads. In the later 19th century it took on the meaning of a slow form of popular love song and the term is now often used as synonymous with any love song, particularly the pop or rock power ballad.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Ballad

    bal′lad, n. a simple spirited narrative poem in short stanzas of two or four lines, in which a story is told in straightforward verse, often with great elaborateness and detail in incident, but always with graphic simplicity and force—a sort of minor epic: a simple song, usually of a romantic or sentimental nature, in two or more verses, each sung to the same melody, as in the so-called Ballad Concerts: any popular song, often scurrilous.—ns. Bal′ladist, a writer or singer of ballads; Bal′lad-monger, a dealer in ballads. [Fr. ballade, from ballare, to dance, being orig. a song sung to the rhythmic movement of a dancing chorus—a dramatic poem sung or acted in the dance, of which a shadow survives in the ring-songs of our children.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Ballad

    a story in verse, composed with spirit, generally of patriotic interest, and sung originally to the harp.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Ballad

    See “Ball.”

How to pronounce ballad?

How to say ballad in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of ballad in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of ballad in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of ballad in a Sentence

  1. John Fogerty:

    But I think beautiful is simple and elegant, like a ballad with simple harmony.

  2. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Farewell address, quoted on "We Interrupt This Broadcast" CD-ROM:

    And now, like the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career, and just fade away...an old soldier who tried to do his duty, as God gave him the light to see that duty. Good-bye.

  3. Ellen Brooks:

    This was a pop ballad song done by female singers, so as far as the song choice goes, it's really interesting, it sort of sums up Elvis, pre-fame.

  4. Joan Baez:

    During the 'ballad' years for me, the politics was latent; I was just falling in love with the ballads and my boyfriend. And there was the beauty of the songs.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for ballad

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for ballad »


Find a translation for the ballad definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these ballad definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "ballad." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 27 Sep. 2022. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/ballad>.

    Are we missing a good definition for ballad? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    a (usually canopied) seat for riding on the back of a camel or elephant
    • A. calcaneus
    • B. howdah
    • C. scalawag
    • D. defilement

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for ballad: