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[troo-buh-dawr, -dohr, -doo r] /ˈtru bəˌdɔr, -ˌdoʊr, -ˌdʊər/
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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for troubadours
  • 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.
British Dictionary definitions for troubadours


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
a singer
Word Origin
C18: from French, from Old Provençal trobador, from trobar to write verses, perhaps ultimately from Latin tropustrope
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 troubadours



1727, from French troubadour "one of a class of lyric poets in southern France, eastern Spain, and northern Italy 11c.-13c.," from Old Provençal trobador, from trobar "to find," earlier "invent a song, compose in verse," perhaps from Vulgar Latin *tropare "compose, sing," especially in the form of tropes, from Latin tropus "a song" (see trope). The alternative theory among French etymologists derives the Old Provençal word from a metathesis of Latin 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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troubadours in Culture

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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