Etymology
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ballad (n.)

late 15c., from Old French ballade "dancing song" (13c.), from Old Provençal ballada "(poem for a) dance," from balar "to dance," from Late Latin ballare "to dance" (see ball (n.2)). Originally a song intended to accompany a dance; later "a short narrative poem suitable for singing" (17c.).

updated on March 21, 2017

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Definitions of ballad from WordNet

ballad (n.)
a narrative song with a recurrent refrain;
Synonyms: lay
ballad (n.)
a narrative poem of popular origin;
Synonyms: lay
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.