nounpl. -·ra′les or -·ra′li
- a composition in simple and idyllic style suggesting rural scenes
- a forerunner of opera consisting of a dramatic performance on an idyllic subject with incidental music
Origin of pastoraleIt, literally , pastoral
nounpl. pas·to·ra·li, or pas·to·rales
- An instrumental or vocal composition with a tender melody in a moderately slow rhythm, suggestive of traditional shepherds' music and idyllic rural life.
- A dramatic performance or opera, popular in the 1500s and 1600s, that was based on a rural theme or subject.
Origin of pastoraleItalian of herdsmen, pastorale from Latin pāstōrālis ; see pastoral .