Student Dictionary

3 entries found for romance.
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Main Entry: 1ro·mance
Pronunciation: romacr-primarystressman(t)s, primarystressromacr-secondarystressman(t)s
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English romauns "a story of adventure or legend," from early French romanz "French language, something written in French," from Latin romanice "in a vernacular (as opposed to Latin)," from Latin Romanus "Gallic Romance speaker (as opposed to a Frank)," from Romanus "Roman"
1 a : an old tale of knights and noble ladies b : an adventure story c : a love story
3 : an attraction or appeal to one's feelings <the romance of the old West>
Word History As the Roman Empire spread throughout Europe, the Latin language developed many dialects. In these dialects, the original Latin was changed by the native languages spoken before the conquest. These dialects were called romanz in early French and became the bases of what we call Romance languages today. Even after the fall of Rome, serious writing was done in Latin. But in what is now France, popular verse stories about knights, dragons, ghosts, and battles were written in the local dialect. Soon romanz came to mean one of these stories, and the word was borrowed into Middle English. Since many of the stories were about love affairs, romance came to mean "a love story," and then "a love affair." In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, a group of poets, including Shelley, Byron, Keats, and Wordsworth, were labeled Romantic because they wrote poetry about the same kinds of things as were found in the old romances -- noble love, courage, and ghostly beings.

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