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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 serenading
Historical Examples
  • "My father world have thought I was a fool to go off serenading," he answered, flushing.

    Coniston, Complete Winston Churchill
  • Do you suppose that he was serenading Pina, the serving-woman, or Ortensia her mistress?'

    Stradella F(rancis) Marion Crawford
  • Late in the evening the officers of the regiment, with the string band, started on a serenading expedition.

    The Citizen-Soldier John Beatty
  • But they were used to this serenading music, and did not regard it.

    The Boy Hunters Captain Mayne Reid
  • That fellow is serenading us now, declared Neale, much amused.

  • Eddy, isn't that the serenading fellow who goes on singing till they hang him?

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • "serenading," as she used the word, meant a promenade about the town.

    American Adventures Julian Street
  • Then Beckmesser approaches for the purpose of serenading Eva.

  • Show me the way to this breakfast that you've been serenading about.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • I only understood that serenading was the custom of the country.

    The Admiral Douglas Sladen
British Dictionary definitions for serenading


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 serenading



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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