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[ley] /leɪ/
(in medieval French literature)
a narrative poem written in octosyllabic couplets and dealing with tales of adventure and romance.
a lyric poem, often a love poem, having great metrical variety and designed to be sung to a popular melody.
1200-50; Middle English < Old French. See lay4 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for lai
  • All the glib talk about my lai is so much propaganda and hot air.
Word Origin and History for lai

see lay (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for lai

medieval poetic and musical form, cultivated especially among the trouveres, or poet-musicians, of northern France in the 12th and 13th centuries but also among their slightly earlier, Provencal-language counterparts, the troubadours, and, called Leich, by the German minnesingers. The lai was a long poem having nonuniform stanzas of about 6 to 16 or more lines of 4 to 8 syllables. One or two rhymes were maintained throughout each stanza. The text might address the Virgin Mary or a lady, or in some cases might be didactic. The lais of the poet Marie de France (late 12th century) are short stories in verse on romantic and magical themes and are not lais in the musical sense

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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