n. 1. A poet or singer.
The word comes to us through Scottish, originally from Celtic. It is believed to have a root meaning along the lines of “lifting up the voice.”
Many ancient cultures, not just the Celts, had people who would recite oral poetry, sometimes sung, telling stories to entertain audiences of listeners (Homer, the author of the Odyssey and the Iliad, is a classic example). We now refer to these people as “bards,” even though that’s not what they would have been called at the time.
William Shakespeare, who died 400 years ago today, is sometimes referred to simply as “the Bard.”