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serenade

[ser-uh-neyd] /ˌsɛr əˈneɪd/
noun
1.
a complimentary performance of vocal or instrumental music in the open air at night, as by a lover under the window of his lady.
2.
a piece of music suitable for such performance.
3.
serenata (def 2).
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), serenaded, serenading.
4.
to entertain with or perform a serenade.
Origin
1640-1650
1640-50; < French sérénade < Italian serenata; see serenata
Related forms
serenader, noun
unserenaded, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for serenading
  • She started singing before she could talk, serenading her toes in a language of her own invention.
  • Gobblers start serenading hens weeks before their womenfolk are ready for romance.
  • In numerable bands lire marching through the down-town streets, serenading the newspapers and prominent people.
  • Birds were fluttering from branch to branch, serenading me in their flights.
  • It will probably be some time before the club again goes serenading.
British Dictionary definitions for serenading

serenade

/ˌsɛrɪˈneɪd/
noun
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
verb
4.
(transitive) to play a serenade for (someone)
5.
(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
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Word Origin and History for serenading

serenade

n.

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.

v.

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

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

serenade

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

Learn more about serenade with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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