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morris dance

[mawr-is, mor-]
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noun
  1. a rural folk dance of north English origin, performed in costume traditionally by men who originally represented characters of the Robin Hood legend, especially in May Day festivities.

Origin of morris dance

1425–75; late Middle English moreys daunce Moorish dance; see Moorish
Also called mor·ris.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for morris dance

morris dance

noun
  1. any of various old English folk dances usually performed by men (morris men) to the accompaniment of violin, concertina, etc. The dancers are adorned with bells and often represent characters from folk talesOften shortened to: morris
Derived Formsmorris dancing, noun

Word Origin

C15 moreys daunce Moorish dance. See Moor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for morris dance

n.

mid-15c., moreys daunce "Moorish dance," from Flemish mooriske dans, from Old French morois "Moorish, Arab, black," from More "Moor" (see Moor). Unknown why the English dance was called this, unless in reference to fantastic dancing or costumes (cf. Italian Moresco, a related dance, literally "Moorish;" German moriskentanz, French moresque).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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