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pirouette

[pir-oo-et]
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noun
  1. a whirling about on one foot or on the points of the toes, as in ballet dancing.
  2. Dressage. a complete turn in which the horse uses its hind legs as a pivot.
verb (used without object), pir·ou·et·ted, pir·ou·et·ting.
  1. to perform a pirouette; whirl, as on the toes.

Origin of pirouette

1700–10; < French: a whirl, top, feminine of Middle French pirouet, equivalent to pirou- (cognate with Italian pirolo, diminutive of piro peg) + -et -et
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for pirouette

pirouette

noun
  1. a body spin, esp in dancing, on the toes or the ball of the foot
verb
  1. (intr) to perform a pirouette

Word Origin

C18: from French, from Old French pirouet spinning top; related to Italian pirolo little peg
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 pirouette

n.

1706, from French pirouette "spinning top; pirouette in dancing," from Middle French pirouet "spinning top" (15c.), from Gallo-Romance root *pir- "peg, plug" (cf. Italian piruolo "peg top") + diminutive suffix -ette.

v.

1822, from pirouette (n.) and also from French pirouetter. Related: Pirouetted; pirouetting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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