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(formerly) a person who composed and recited epic or heroic poems, often while playing the harp, lyre, or the like.
one of an ancient Celtic order of composers and reciters of poetry.
any poet.
the bard, William Shakespeare.
Historical Examples

Laying aside these bardic properties, there really is little in the song that can be traced directly back to Ossian.
Ossian in Germany Rudolf Tombo

We shall notice also that the bardic machinery and Ossians imagery are not neglected.
Ossian in Germany Rudolf Tombo

During the shadowy period that follows down to the Christian era, we hear little of Tara even in bardic history.
Insula Sanctorum et Doctorum John Healy

In all these bardic songs Gleims influence is distinctly noticeable.
Ossian in Germany Rudolf Tombo

This is the first instance we have of the employment of a bardic pseudonym.
Ossian in Germany Rudolf Tombo

It is written in the bardic spirit with here and there an Ossianic touch.
Ossian in Germany Rudolf Tombo

Such a custom would contravene the principles of the druidic or bardic system, which prohibited them from using arms.
Old English Chronicles Various

In the same magazine we have several other bardic songs by Haschka.
Ossian in Germany Rudolf Tombo

Such is the bardic history of Ireland, but with this literary defect.
Early Bardic Literature, Ireland Standish O’Grady

The bardic poems are naturally, as a rule, of a lyric nature.
Ossian in Germany Rudolf Tombo


(formerly) one of an ancient Celtic order of poets who recited verses about the exploits, often legendary, of their tribes
(in modern times) a poet who wins a verse competition at a Welsh eisteddfod

(archaic or literary) any poet, esp one who writes lyric or heroic verse or is of national importance
a piece of larding bacon or pork fat placed on game or lean meat during roasting to prevent drying out
an ornamental caparison for a horse
verb (transitive)
to place a bard on
the Bard, an epithet of William Shakespeare

1775, from bard + -ic.

mid-15c., from Scottish, from Old Celtic bardos “poet, singer,” from PIE root *gwer- “to lift up the voice, praise.” In historical times, a term of contempt among the Scots (who considered them itinerant troublemakers), but one of great respect among the Welsh.

All vagabundis, fulis, bardis, scudlaris, and siclike idill pepill, sall be brint on the cheek. [local Scottish ordinance, c.1500]

Subsequently idealized by Scott in the more ancient sense of “lyric poet, singer.” Poetic use of the word in English is from Greek bardos, Latin bardus, both from Gaulish.


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