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90s Slang You Should Know


[pir-oo-et] /ˌpɪr uˈɛt/
a whirling about on one foot or on the points of the toes, as in ballet dancing.
Dressage. a complete turn in which the horse uses its hind legs as a pivot.
verb (used without object), pirouetted, pirouetting.
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for pirouetting
Historical Examples
  • Jerry was torn between desire to watch her graceful whirling and pirouetting and to keep fascinated eyes on the green elephant.

    The Circus Comes to Town Lebbeus Mitchell
  • "He is alive—go on," breathed Margaret to the pirouetting geni of her fairy-tale.

    Faithful Margaret Annie Ashmore
  • Saturnine faces were wreathed in smiles worthy of a pirouetting dancer.

    The Magic Skin Honore de Balzac
  • Dust devils were pirouetting in the hazy distance towards the mountains forming a corridor leading to the ranch.

    Make Mine Homogenized Rick Raphael
  • I wonder what Miss Phipps would have said if she had come in while you were pirouetting on the mantelpiece!

    Pixie O'Shaughnessy Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  • She turned, pirouetting lightly on her beaded moccasins, waving her arms and kissing her fingers.

    The Conquest Eva Emery Dye
  • "'Twill be like the play, and I shall wear my new mourning mitts," Sarah called, pirouetting in glee.

  • Difficult to remember what one is talking about with you pirouetting all over the place like a pantomime fairy.

    The Prude's Progress Jerome K. Jerome
  • "Doesn't it look nice," she cried, pirouetting before the glass.

    Anxious Audrey Mabel Quiller-Couch
  • Lots of boys and girls about her own age, in fancy costumes, were dancing and pirouetting in time with the fine music.

    Marjorie at Seacote Carolyn Wells
British Dictionary definitions for pirouetting


a body spin, esp in dancing, on the toes or the ball of the foot
(intransitive) 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
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Word Origin and History for pirouetting



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.


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



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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