AskDefine | Define gleeman

User Contributed Dictionary



glīġman, glēoman, corresponding to glee + man.




  1. A professional singer, bard, or other entertainer.
    • 1948 (revised 1952), Robert Graves, The White Goddess, Faber & Faber 1999, p. 17:
      The ancient Celts carefully distinguished the poet, who was originally a priest and judge as well and whose person was sacrosanct, from the mere gleeman.

Extensive Definition

''For the Italian band, see Garybaldi.
A gleeman was an itinerant performer in the Middle Ages. Gleemen were distinguished from other kinds of performers by their ability to juggle, which was sometimes credited to their supposed knowledge of witchcraft. They were also accomplished storytellers and minstrels , often reciting epic poetry written by a scop, although they would also compose their own poems and songs.


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