- a short poem, usually a love poem, which can be set to music
- a part song, esp. an often contrapuntal song popular in the 15th, 16th, and 17th cent.
Origin of madrigalItalian madrigale ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps
- a. A song for two or three unaccompanied voices, developed in Italy in the late 1200s and early 1300s.b. A short poem, often about love, suitable for being set to music.
- a. A polyphonic song using a vernacular text and written for four to six voices, developed in Italy in the 16th century and popular in England in the 1500s and early 1600s.b. A part song.
Origin of madrigalItalian madrigale, probably from dialectal madregal, simple, from Late Latin matr&imacron;calis, invented, original, from Latin, of the womb, from matr&imacron;x, matr&imacron;c-, womb, from mater, matr-, mother; see mater.