1. A medieval entertainer who traveled from place to place, especially to sing and recite poetry.
a. A lyric poet.
b. A musician.
3. A performer in a minstrel show.
[Middle English minstral, from Old French menestrel, servant, entertainer, from Late Latin ministeriālis, official in the imperial household, from Latin ministerium, ministry; see MINISTRY.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.