from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A wandering student in medieval Europe disposed to conviviality, license, and the making of ribald and satirical Latin songs.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A buffoon or jester; specifically, one of an order or class of inferior monks who attended on the tables of the richer ecclesiastics as professional jesters or buffoons.
  • noun One of the writers of the satirical poems collectively known as goliardery.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A buffoon in the Middle Ages, who attended rich men's tables to make sport for the guests by ribald stories and songs.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a wandering scholar in medieval Europe; famed for intemperance and riotous behavior and the composition of satirical and ribald Latin songs


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French, glutton, goliard, from gole, throat, from Latin gula.]


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  • "To see it with the eyes of a stranger, but also with those of a native shopkeeper, a bum, a housekeeper, a farmer and soldier, a priest and poet and patient and day-laborer and whore and journalist and concerned citizen and street sweeper...And with the eyes of all the dead, the vagabonds and popes, clerks and troubadours, fratres minores, prelates, goliards, painters, bankers, and truck drivers."

    Arriving in Avignon by Daniël Robberechts, translated by Paul Vincent, p 136 of the Dalkey Archive Press paperback

    December 24, 2010