A 19-line poem of fixed form consisting of five tercets and a final quatrain on two rhymes, with the first and third lines of the first tercet repeated alternately as a refrain closing the succeeding stanzas and joined as the final couplet of the quatrain.
A poem of fixed form, French in origin, consisting usually of five three-line stanzas and a final four-line stanza and having only two rhymes throughout.
Origin of villanelle
- French from Italian villanella from feminine of villanello rustic from villano peasant from Vulgar Latin vīllānus from Latin vīlla country house weik-1 in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition