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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Chanson \Chan"son\, n. [F., fr. L. cantion song. See Cantion, Canzone.] A song.
--Shak. [1913 Webster] ||

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1600, from French chanson, from Old French chançon "song, epic poem" (12c.), from Latin cantionem (nominative cantio) "song," from past participle stem of canere (see chant (v.)).\n


n. 1 Any song with French words, but more specifically classic, lyric-driven French songs. 2 (context obsolete English) A religious song.


A chanson (, " song", from Latin cantio, gen. cantionis) is in general any lyric-driven French song, usually polyphonic and secular. A singer specializing in chansons is known as a "chanteur" (male) or " chanteuse" (female); a collection of chansons, especially from the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, is also known as a chansonnier.

Chanson (disambiguation)

Chanson ( French for "song") can refer to:

Chanson (band)

Chanson was an American studio based disco group from the late 1970s, led by James Jamerson, Jr. (son of the legendary Motown sideman, James Jamerson) and David Williams. The group took their name from the French word for song. They were a one-hit wonder, reaching #21 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1979 with "Don't Hold Back", on the Ariola record label. The same track reached number 33 in the UK Singles Chart, in January 1979.

Usage examples of "chanson".

And yet he is wonderfully near us, whereas he is separated by a great gulf from the rude trouveres of the Chansons de Gestes and from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which was still dragging out its weary length in his early days.

Perhaps she still thought of his romances, and his chansons, and his fine, smooth words, and missed them.

The light returned to Sebastian's eyes as a chorus from La Chanson de Fortunio forced its way into his head.

When an infant, they gave him for governor the vainest, most coxcombical, stupidest of men--the duc de Villeroi, who had so well served the king (si bien servi le roi),*       * The countess alludes to the chanson written, after his famous defeat, "Villeroi, Villeroi a fort bien servi le roi.

I earned my passage recalling my days as a jongleur with the goliards, reciting tales fromLa Chanson de Roland and entertaining the crew at their meals with raucous jokes.

As if there had been a Chanson de Roland in which Roland died under a pine, and another in which he became king of France at the death of Charles, using Ganelon’.

I wondered whether I should just translate ``Le Chanson de Roland'' into the clipped cadences of a Second World War officer and pass it off as a modern comment on war rather than attempting the great original task ahead of me.

If I heard you without being made helpless by amazement, ’tis because I have myself speculated that another Earth such as you describe might indeed exist, and be the source of myths and legends, such as those told of Frederik Barbarossa, or the great epical chansons about the Emperor Napoleon and his heroes.

Just an outlying knight bachelor, no chansons about me for the minstrels to sing, or any- thing like that.