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Middle English menestrel, from Old French menestral (“entertainer, servant, official”) from Latin ministerialis (“servant”), from ministerium (“service”), from minister (“servant”). More at minister.
minstrel (plural minstrels)
- (historical) A medieval traveling entertainer who would sing and recite poetry, often to his own musical accompaniment.
- One of a troupe of entertainers who wore black makeup (blackface) to present a variety show of song, dance and banjo music.
- 1885 — Gilbert & Sullivan, The Mikado
- A wandering minstrel I —
- A thing of shreds and patches,
- Of ballads, songs and snatches,
medieval traveling entertainer