a. A narrative poem, often of folk origin and intended to be sung, consisting of simple stanzas and usually having a refrain.
b. The music for such a poem.
2. A popular song especially of a romantic or sentimental nature.
[Middle English balade, poem or song in stanza form, from Old French ballade, from Old Provençal balada, song sung while dancing, from balar, to dance, from Late Latin ballāre, to dance; see BALL2.]
bal·ladic (bə-lădĭk, bă-) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.