• WordNet 3.6
    • n ballad a narrative poem of popular origin
    • n ballad a narrative song with a recurrent refrain
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Ballad A popular kind of narrative poem, adapted for recitation or singing; as, the ballad of Chevy Chase; esp., a sentimental or romantic poem in short stanzas.
    • v. t Ballad To make mention of in ballads.
    • v. i Ballad To make or sing ballads.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n ballad A song intended as an accompaniment to a dance.
    • n ballad The tune to which such a song is sung.
    • n ballad A short narrative poem, especially one adapted for singing; a poem partly epic and partly lyric. As applied to the minstrelsy of the borders of England and Scotland, and of Scandinavia and Spain, the ballad is a sort of minor epic, reciting in verse more or less rude the exploits of warriors, the adventures of lovers, and the mysteries of fairyland, designed to be rehearsed in musical recitative accompanied by the harp.
    • n ballad In music, originally, a short and simple vocal melody, often adapted to more than one stanza of poetry and having a simple instrumental accompaniment. The term is sometimes applied to instrumental melodies of a similar character, and more loosely to more elaborate compositions in which a narrative idea is intended to be expressed.
    • ballad To make or sing ballads.
    • ballad To celebrate in a ballad.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Ballad bal′lad a simple spirited narrative poem in short stanzas of two or four lines, in which a story is told in straightforward verse, often with great elaborateness and detail in incident, but always with graphic simplicity and force—a sort of minor epic: a simple song, usually of a romantic or sentimental nature, in two or more verses, each sung to the same melody, as in the so-called Ballad Concerts: any popular song, often scurrilous
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. balade, OF. balade, F. ballade, fr. Pr. ballada, a dancing song, fr. ballare, to dance; cf. It. ballata,. See 2d Ball (n.), and Ballet
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. ballade, from ballare, to dance, being orig. a song sung to the rhythmic movement of a dancing chorus—a dramatic poem sung or acted in the dance, of which a shadow survives in the ring-songs of our children.


In literature:

He was haunted, moreover, by a certain stanza of the ballad of Chevy Chase.
"The History of Sir Richard Calmady" by Lucas Malet
"Contemporary American Composers" by Rupert Hughes
He was never married, though he might have obtained the lady, whoever she was, to whom his Pastoral Ballad was addressed.
"The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. in Nine Volumes" by Samuel Johnson
And of Cock Robin again, no less captivating has been the ballad celebrating his wedding with little Jenny Wren.
"Children's Rhymes, Children's Games, Children's Songs, Children's Stories" by Robert Ford
A group of ballads gathers about the name of Robin Hood, "the gentlest thief," as Scott calls him, "that ever was.
"Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism" by F. V. N. Painter
Marcel is a strict old protestant and sings a ballad of the Huguenots to the young people, a song wild and fanatic.
"The Standard Operaglass" by Charles Annesley
There is a ballad of his addressed to all ladies that are learned in love which is something more than beautiful.
"The God of Love" by Justin Huntly McCarthy
But there are force, action, rhythm, clearness and beauty in this old ballad.
"Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 10" by Charles Herbert Sylvester
Where she attempts simply to narrate an event in the ballad style she is more successful.
"The International Monthly, Volume 2, No. 4, March, 1851" by Various
The collection of ballads has been edited by the Rev.
"English Book Collectors" by William Younger Fletcher

In poetry:

When I paused to hear
The old ballad of King Christian
Shouted from suburban taverns
In the twilight.
"To An Old Danish Songbook" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
And I, the poet of these folk,
Am ordered to compile
This truly famous history
In good old ballad style.
"The Delectable Ballad Of The Waller Lot" by Eugene Field
Whene'er he sailed afar
Upon a Channel cruise, he
Unpacked his light guitar
And sang this ballad (Boosey):
"Joe Golightly - Or, The First Lord's Daughter" by William Schwenck Gilbert
Good children, list, if you're inclined,
And wicked children too -
This pretty ballad is designed
Especially for you.
"The Two Ogres" by William Schwenck Gilbert
Of what befell behind that scone,
Let none who knows reveal.
In ballad days she might have been
A heroine rousing steel.
"The Years Had Worn Their Season's Belt" by George Meredith
The hawkweed on our ballad book
Sprinkled its pollen fine,
And now and then a beetle dropped
And wandered through a line.
"On Reading Ballads" by Arthur Graeme West

In news:

Boats, The The Ballad For Achievement Ballads of The Research Department 12K.
Half Note Issues A New Release By Randy Brecker, The Jazz Ballad Song Book, Featuring The Danish Radio Big Band And The Danish National Chamber Orchestra .
According to Billboard, "Iris" came out on top because the 1998 ballad, from the soundtrack of the movie City of Angels, spent four weeks at #1 on the chart , and 39 weeks on the chart overall.
Music styles range from love ballads to polkas to original Christmas carol s.
Ballad Plus biofungicide, from AgraQuest, is a biological pest control product.
The company says that Ballad Plus controls or suppresses rust, frogeye leaf spot, brown leaf spot in soybeans.
"Ballad of the Golden Hour," by Widowspeak — on sale now.
Darren Criss Sing 'Teenage Dream' — As a Ballad.
The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye director Marie Losier documents extreme devotion .
Bach is infamously beloved to Duck fans as the voice of the power ballad dedicated to the Ducks of Oregon before the BCS National Championship game on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.".
Ballads, rock elevate Barn Theatre's production of 'The Wedding Singer' to enjoyable heights (review).
The Ballad of Big Star.
The National Theatre of Scotland boisterously updates a medieval ballad.
A new English-language edition of Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese: The Ballad of the Salt Sea has raised the ire of fans who find its reformatting to harm the original work.
A steady-grooving blues-rock ballad, with Dan Auerbach's falsetto floating over craggy funk like some beautiful ghost.