• Christy's Original Minstrels
    Christy's Original Minstrels
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v minstrel celebrate by singing, in the style of minstrels
    • n minstrel a singer of folk songs
    • n minstrel a performer in a minstrel show
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Wolsey is served food and wine while minstrels play Wolsey is served food and wine while minstrels play

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Minstrel In the Middle Ages, one of an order of men who subsisted by the arts of poetry and music, and sang verses to the accompaniment of a harp or other instrument; in modern times, a poet; a bard; a singer and harper; a musician.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n minstrel A musician, especially one who sings or recites to the accompaniment of instruments. Specifically, in the middle ages, the minstrels were a class who devoted themselves to the amusement of the great in castle or camp by singing ballads or songs of love and war, sometimes of their own composition, with accompaniment on the harp, lute, or other instrument. together with suitable mimicry and action, and also by storytelling, etc. The intermediate class of professional musicians from which the later minstrels sprang appeared in France as early as the eighth century, and was by the Norman conquest introduced into England, where it was assimilated with the Anglo-Saxon gleemen. Everywhere the social importance of the minstrels slowly degenerated, until in the fifteenth century they had formed themselvel generally into gilds of itinerant popular musicians and mountebanks. In England theyfell so lowin esteem that in 1597 they were classed by a statute with rogues, vagabonds, and sturdy beggars; but in France their gilds were maintained until the revolution. See gleeman, troubadour, trouvère, and jongleur.
    • n minstrel Hence Any poet or musician. [Poetical.]3, Originally, one of a class of singers of negro melodies and delineators of life on the Southern plantations which originated in the United States about 1830: called negro minstrels, although they are usually white men whose faces and hands are blackened with burnt cork. The characteristic feature of such a troupe or band is the middle-man or interlocutor, who leads the talk and gives the cues, and the two end-men, who usually perform on the tambourine and the bones, and between whom the indispensable conundrums and jokes are exchanged. As now constituted, a negro-minstrel troupe retains but little of its original character except the black faces and the old jokes.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Minstrel min′strel one of an order of men who sang to the harp verses composed by themselves or others: a musician: one of a class of performers, with blackened faces, of negro songs
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. minstrel, menestral, OF. menestrel, fr. LL. ministerialis, servant, workman (cf. ministrellus, harpist), fr. L. ministerium, service. See Ministry, and cf. Ministerial
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. menestrel—Low L. ministralis—L. minister.


In literature:

For him no minstrel raptures swell.
"Handy Dictionary of Poetical Quotations" by Various
To see "Mr." dispatch itinerant minstrels would do our County Council good.
"Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 103, August 27, 1892" by Various
Dancers, singers, jugglers, and minstrels became indispensable to the performances.
"A Book of the Play" by Dutton Cook
But Jason went away into a far-off land, till he found Orpheus the prince of minstrels, where he dwelt in his cave.
"Young Folks Treasury, Volume 2 (of 12)" by Various
LOYAL RESPONSES; or, Daily Melodies for the King's Minstrels.
"Blown to Bits" by Robert Michael Ballantyne
I'll call in the minstrel.
"St. Nicholas, Vol. 5, No. 2, December, 1877" by Various
Beside the piper was another minstrel, similarly attired, and provided with a tabor.
"The Lancashire Witches" by William Harrison Ainsworth
The Chorus seemed to have become Wandering Minstrels, so very uncertain were they.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 103, October 22, 1892" by Various
He had fallen desperately in love with the beautiful daughter of a strolling minstrel.
"The Honorable Miss" by L. T. Meade
It had its mock negro minstrels, whom, hearing, Telford was anxious to offend.
"An Unpardonable Liar" by Gilbert Parker

In poetry:

Whence cometh such tender rapture?
And what's to be done with it, artful
Young vagabond, passing minstrel
With lashes—to long to say.
"Whence Cometh Such Tender Rapture?" by Marina Ivanova Tsvetaeva
The waning suns, the wasting globe,
Shall spare the minstrel's story,--
The centuries weave his purple robe,
The mountain-mist of glory!
"For The Burns Centennial Celebration" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
Stranger! if thou e'er did'st love,
If nature in thy bosom glows,
A Minstrel, rude, may haply move,
Thine heart to sigh for Anna's woes.
"Bertram And Anna" by Thomas Gent
Oh! day of days! shall hearts set free
No "minstrel rapture" find for thee?
Thou art this Sun of other days,
They shine by giving back thy rays:
"Easter Day" by John Keble
Here pause we, gentles, for a space;
And, if our tale hath won your grace,
Grant us brief patience, and again
We will renew the minstrel strain.
"The Lord of the Isles: Canto I." by Sir Walter Scott
An' ne'er owre "Bothwell banks sae fair,"
Sae aft by Scottish minstrels sung,
Were wafted higher, holier strains,
Till bank an' brae wi' echoes rung.
""Bothwell Brig"" by Janet Hamilton

In news:

It's the bellbottoms on the hippy dippy minstrel that I love.
Jim Minstrell, Senior Research Scientist, Facet Innovations.
Sacha Cohen's movie a minstrel show.
Lions minstrel a fun, happy, vociferous show.
'Bob Was a Minstrel '.
Modern Minstrel , Once Wrapped in Mystery.
Well, it's revived here on Minstrel in the Gallery, Jethro Tull's latest concept-as-after-thought entry in the fall record sweepstakes.
) We found it fitting since as a cover band, we are the next generation, or 'period,' of minstrels .
Sacha Cohen's movie a minstrel show .
The words floated down from the minstrels' gallery during a feast at a Cambridge University college last December.
Yuval Taylor and Jake Austen examine the complex history of black performers and the minstrel tradition.
Brandywine Minstrels set sail on the Toptanic.
Hungarian minstrels meet Philip Glass.
Police were called to the Taco Bell in the 7100 block of Minstrel Way in Columbia at 12:50 a.m.Sunday.
Robert C Toll is the author of Blacking Up: The Minstrel Show in Nineteenth-Century America (Oxford University Press, 1974) and On With the Show.