Pronunciation: (mad'ri-gul), [key]
1. a secular part song without instrumental accompaniment, usually for four to six voices, making abundant use of contrapuntal imitation, popular esp. in the 16th and 17th centuries.
2. a lyric poem suitable for being set to music, usually short and often of amatory character, esp. fashionable in the 16th century and later, in Italy, France, England, etc.
3. any part song.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.