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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Goliard \Gol"iard\ (g[=o]l"y[~e]rd), n. [From OF. goliart glutton, buffoon, riotous student, Goliard, LL. goliardus, prob. fr. L. gula throat. Cf. Gules.] A buffoon in the Middle Ages, who attended rich men's tables to make sport for the guests by ribald stories and songs.


n. a wandering scholar in medieval Europe; famed for intemperance and riotous behavior and the composition of satirical and ribald Latin songs


The goliards were a group of clergy who wrote bibulous, satirical Latin poetry in the 12th and 13th centuries. They were mainly clerics at or from the universities of France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and England who protested the growing contradictions within the church through song, poetry and performance, often within a structured carnivalesque setting such as the Feast of Fools.

Usage examples of "goliard".

I was stuck on the rocks on the upper Dunajec with no one but a worthless little Goliard poet to help get me off.

He was the same kid what used to be a Goliard poet and worked for me the last fall.

I got to talking with Sir Vladimir and Friar Roman-him what used to be the Goliard poet-along with Ilya, the blacksmith.

Professor Emeritus Evan Joyce, happily retired at sixty-odd to a decrepit but spacious cottage up the valley with his books, was busily engaged in not writing his long-projected history of Goliard poets, and almost any distraction was enough to justify him in never getting it beyond the note stage.

Emeritus Evan Joyce lived in a rambling stone cottage a little way up the valley, with half an acre of garden, a few old fruit trees, about seven thousand books which lined the walls of all the rooms, and a handsome old desk of enormous proportions, situated in a large window and admirable for spreading out several files of notes, translations and authorities, without actually adding a line to the manuscript about the Goliard poets.

The verses which now filled his head had no taint of sanctity, but were the snatches of wandering goliards, to whom women and wine were the sum of life.

The criers of fish and wine, the goliards and their songs were gone from the streets.

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.