AskDefine | Define roundelay

Dictionary Definition

roundelay n : a song in which a line or phrase is repeated as the refrain

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A poem or song having a line or phrase repeated at regular intervals

See also

Extensive Definition

The Rondelet (or roundelay) is a brief French form of poetry. It consists of one stanza, made up of seven lines. It contains a refrain, a strict rhyme scheme and a distinct meter pattern.
The word is from the diminutive of rondel, meaning round. This is the basic structure:
Line 1 :: A -- four syllables Line 2 :: b -- eight syllables Line 3 :: A -- repeat of line one Line 4 :: a -- eight syllables Line 5 :: b -- eight syllables Line 6 :: b -- eight syllables Line 7 :: A -- repeat of line one
The refrained lines should contain the same words, however - substitution or different use of punctuation on the lines has been common.
The term originates from late middle English: from Old French rondelet, from rondel. The change in ending was due to association with the final syllable of virelay.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

English sonnet, Horatian ode, Italian sonnet, Petrarchan sonnet, Pindaric ode, Sapphic ode, Shakespearean sonnet, alba, anacreontic, balada, ballad, ballade, bucolic, canon, canso, catch, chanson, clerihew, dirge, dithyramb, eclogue, elegy, epic, epigram, epithalamium, epode, epopee, epopoeia, epos, fugato, fugue, georgic, ghazel, haiku, idyll, jingle, limerick, lyric, madrigal, monody, narrative poem, nursery rhyme, ode, palinode, pastoral, pastoral elegy, pastorela, pastourelle, poem, prothalamium, rhyme, rondeau, rondel, rondino, rondo, rondoletto, round, roundel, satire, sestina, sloka, song, sonnet, sonnet sequence, tanka, tenso, tenzone, threnody, triolet, troll, troubadour poem, verse, verselet, versicle, villanelle, virelay
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