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A 19-line poem of fixed form consisting of five tercets and a final quatrain on two rhymes, with the first and third lines of the first tercet repeated alternately as a refrain closing the succeeding stanzas and joined as the final couplet of the quatrain.

[French, from Italian villanella, from feminine of villanello, rustic, from villano, peasant, from Vulgar Latin *vīllānus, from Latin vīlla, country house; see weik- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Poetry) a verse form of French origin consisting of 19 lines arranged in five tercets and a quatrain. The first and third lines of the first tercet recur alternately at the end of each subsequent tercet and both together at the end of the quatrain
[C16: from French, from Italian villanella]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌvɪl əˈnɛl)

a short poem of fixed form, written in tercets, usu. five in number, followed by a final quatrain, all being based on two rhymes.
[1580–90; < French < Italian; see villanella]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
At my previous job, I offered a Form seminar in which at some point during the semester, I would more often than not assign section I of Kees's "Five Villanelles." Sometimes it provoked lively discussion, sometimes yawns.
And so it was gratitude I felt for this villanelle, and perhaps a bit of sadness, in the spring of 2004.
The villanelles and triolets and rondeaux and ballades beloved of the Aesthetes were endangered for most of the twentieth century, but the villanelle in particular is now a common animal in the biome of contemporary American poetry.
Un exemple vaudra mieux que toutes les explications; voici le chef-d'oeuvre des villanelles: J'ai perdu ma tourterelle.
Villanelles work for the same reason knuckleballs work: we rarely see them.
The forms of the poems range from sonnets, villanelles, and pantoums, to haiku, ballad, and free verse.
But this development is not just for the super-rich for as well as the delightful Villanelles it has smaller sized properties of four, five, six bedrooms.
The Wynyard Woods development boasts one of the top residences in the country with its seven-bedroom Villanelle design.
Compass Card: One Hundred Villanelles Lewiston, N.Y.
Later poets patterned their villanelles on a highly popular example of the genre written by Jean Passerat.
Written in seven parts, it includes two villanelles with unpredictable rhyme written in masterful iambic pentameter.
Originally a round - song of farm laborers, the name villanelle comes from Latin villa, " farm.