• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Villanelle A poem written in tercets with but two rhymes, the first and third verse of the first stanza alternating as the third verse in each successive stanza and forming a couplet at the close.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n villanelle A poem in a fixed form borrowed from the French, and allied to the virelay. It consists of nineteen lines on two rimes, arranged in six stanzas, the first five of three lines, the last of four. The first and third line of the first stanza are repeated alternately as last lines from the second to the fifth stanza, and they conclude the sixth stanza. Great skill is required to introduce them naturally. The typical example of the villanelle is one by Jean Passerat (1534-1602), beginning “J'ai perdu ma tourtourelle.”
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Villanelle vil-a-nel′ a poem, of a form borrowed from the French, consisting of nineteen lines on two rhymes, arranged in six stanzas, the first five having three, the last four lines.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
It. villanellavillano, rustic.


In literature:

Will they suffer you to go on writing villanelles, my good Denis?
"Crome Yellow" by Aldous Huxley
And so I made a Villanelle!
"The Home Book of Verse, Vol. 2 (of 4)" by Various
The verses passed from his mind to his lips and, murmuring them over, he felt the rhythmic movement of a villanelle pass through them.
"A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" by James Joyce
In the villanelle the influence of the strophic folk song is clearly perceptible.
"Some Forerunners of Italian Opera" by William James Henderson
The "brown foreground," "old mastery," and the like, ranking with villanelles, as technical sports and pastimes.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 24 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
This he followed by English versions of the rondel, rondeau and villanelle.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 5" by Various
Ballade and villanelle, rondeau and triolet, the names of these French forms were enough to set the key for a young craftsman's reverie.
"Oscar Wilde" by Arthur Ransome
Nevertheless, the villanelle is always a novelty, since I ever sing it with variations.
"The Barber of Paris" by Charles Paul de Kock

In poetry:

Still fair to see and good to smell
As in the quaintness of its prime,
A dainty thing's the Villanelle,
It serves its purpose passing well.
" A Dainty Thing's The Villanelle" by William Ernest Henley

In news:

With two repeating lines woven throughout them, villanelles such as Dylan Thomas' "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night," Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art" and Theodore Roethke's "The Waking" can be both hypnotic and deeply unsettling poems.
The results of the Alibi 's first annual and probably last ever Villanelle Contest.
The Villanelle Contest has been a complete success.
Villanelle for the Children's Ward.