2 [en-voi, ahn-]
a short stanza concluding a poem in certain archaic metrical forms, as a ballade, and serving as a dedication, or a similar postscript to a prose composition.
Also, envoi.

1350–1400; Middle English envoye < Old French, derivative of envoyer to send; see envoy1

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World English Dictionary
envoy1 (ˈɛnvɔɪ)
1.  Formal name: envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary a diplomat of the second class, ranking between an ambassador and a minister resident
2.  an accredited messenger, agent, or representative
[C17: from French envoyé, literally: sent, from envoyer to send, from Vulgar Latin inviāre (unattested) to send on a journey, from in-² + via road]

envoy or envoi2 (ˈɛnvɔɪ)
1.  a brief dedicatory or explanatory stanza concluding certain forms of poetry, notably ballades
2.  a postscript in other forms of verse or prose
[C14: from Old French envoye, from envoyer to send; see envoy1]
envoi or envoi2
[C14: from Old French envoye, from envoyer to send; see envoy1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1660, from Fr. envoyé "messenger," lit. "one sent," n. use of pp. of envoyer "send," from V.L. *inviare "send on one's way," from L. in "on" + via "road." The same word was borrowed in M.E. to mean "a stanza of a poem sending it off to find readers" (late 14c.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


the usually explanatory or commendatory concluding remarks to a poem, essay, or book. The term is specifically used to mean a short, fixed final stanza of a poem (such as a ballade) pointing the moral and usually addressing the person to whom the poem is written. Although they are most often associated with the ballade and chant royal-i.e., French poetic forms-envois have also been used by several English poets, including Geoffrey Chaucer, Robert Southey, and Algernon Charles Swinburne. The word is from the Middle French envoy, literally, "the act of sending or dispatching."

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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