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.

1640–50; < French sérénade < Italian serenata; see serenata

serenader, noun
unserenaded, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
serenade (ˌsɛrɪˈneɪd)
1.  a piece of music appropriate to the evening, characteristically played outside the house of a woman
2.  a piece of music indicative or suggestive of this
3.  an extended composition in several movements similar to the modern suite or divertimento
4.  (tr) to play a serenade for (someone)
5.  (intr) to play a serenade
[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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1649, "musical performance at night in open air" (esp. one given by a lover under the window of his lady), from Fr. sérénade, from It. serenata "an evening song," lit. "calm sky," from sereno "the open air," noun use of sereno "clear, calm," from L. serenus "peaceful, calm, serene." Sense
infl. by It. sera "evening," from L. sera, fem. of serus "late." Meaning "piece of music suitable for a serenade" is attested from 1728. The verb is from 1668.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


originally, a nocturnal song of courtship, and later, beginning in the late 18th century, a short suite of instrumental pieces, similar to the divertimento, cassation, and notturno. An example of the first type in art music is the serenade "Deh! vieni alla finestra" ("Oh, Come to the Window"), from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Don Giovanni. The instrumental serenade gradually lost its association with courtship and became (about 1770) primarily a collection of light pieces such as dances and marches suitable for open-air, evening performance

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
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.
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