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[ser-uh-neyd] /ˌsɛr əˈneɪd/
a complimentary performance of vocal or instrumental music in the open air at night, as by a lover under the window of his lady.
a piece of music suitable for such performance.
serenata (def 2).
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), serenaded, serenading.
to entertain with or perform a serenade.
Origin of serenade
1640-50; < French sérénade < Italian serenata; see serenata
Related forms
serenader, noun
unserenaded, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for serenade
  • Singers move among the tables to serenade you as you dine.
  • Meanwhile, my relaxed coworker had filled his to the brim without missing an eligible cherry-or a note in his nonstop serenade.
  • Call it a figurative serenade or a musical valentine.
  • He will be plucked from the gene pool of the next generation, leaving no evolutionary trace of his idiosyncratic serenade.
  • And many great toys are accidents or improvisations, a serenade by kids whose first drum set is a wooden spoon and a tin pot.
  • Walk the boardwalk during the spring and summer and listen to a serenade of song from seven different species of frogs.
  • Let the frogs serenade you at this uncommon watering hole.
  • Cathedral bells, jazz trumpets, and ship horns serenade residents and visitors.
  • Be sure to enjoy the occasional serenade of a coyote family as you are settling into bed at your campsite.
  • The crisp nights treat us to a star show, and coyotes and owls serenade us to sleep.
British Dictionary definitions for serenade


a piece of music appropriate to the evening, characteristically played outside the house of a woman
a piece of music indicative or suggestive of this
an extended composition in several movements similar to the modern suite or divertimento
(transitive) to play a serenade for (someone)
(intransitive) to play a serenade
Compare aubade
Derived Forms
serenader, noun
Word Origin
C17: from French sérénade, from Italian serenata, from sereno peaceful, from Latin serēnus calm; also influenced in meaning by Italian sera evening, from Latin sērus late
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for serenade

1640s, "musical performance at night in open air" (especially one given by a lover under the window of his lady), from French sérénade (16c.), from Italian serenata "an evening song," literally "calm sky," from sereno "the open air," noun use of sereno "clear, calm," from Latin serenus "peaceful, calm, serene." Sense influenced by Italian sera "evening," from Latin sera, fem. of serus "late." Meaning "piece of music suitable for a serenade" is attested from 1728.


1660s, from serenade (n.). Related: Serenaded; serenading.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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