[troo-buh-dawr, -dohr, -door]
one of a class of medieval lyric poets who flourished principally in southern France from the 11th to 13th centuries, and wrote songs and poems of a complex metrical form in langue d'oc, chiefly on themes of courtly love. Compare trouvère.
any wandering singer or minstrel.

1720–30; < French < Provençal trobador, equivalent to trob(ar) to find, compose (see trover) + -ador < Latin -ātor -ator Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
troubadour (ˈtruːbəˌdʊə)
1.  any of a class of lyric poets who flourished principally in Provence and N Italy from the 11th to the 13th centuries, writing chiefly on courtly love in complex metric form
2.  a singer
[C18: from French, from Old Provençal trobador, from trobar to write verses, perhaps ultimately from Latin tropustrope]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1727, from Fr. troubadour "one of a class of lyric poets in southern France, eastern Spain, and northern Italy 11c.-13c.," from O.Prov. trobador, from trobar "to find," earlier "invent a song, compose in verse," probably from V.L. *tropare "compose, sing," especially in the form of tropes, from L. tropus
"a song" (see trope). The alternative theory among Fr. etymologists derives the O.Prov. word from a metathesis of L. turbare "to disturb," via a sense of "to turn up." Meanwhile, Arabists posit an origin in Arabic taraba "to sing." General sense of "one who composes or sings verses or ballads" first recorded 1826.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

troubadours definition

Traveling poet-musicians who flourished in southern Europe during the twelfth century. They wrote songs about chivalry and love.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Quickly, the people marshalled all their troubadours, stationing them at every dragon's ear to croon melodies.
Frequently, this is still the case for those who make their living as twentieth-century troubadours.
The pipa is a short-necked lute favored by blind troubadours in ancient times but now used frequently as a concert instrument.
My family, parents and siblings, were a band of troubadours who traveled around the country singing folk songs.
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