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[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
  • "No more did I," said Elsie, trying in vain to get away from her pirouetting husband.

    In the High Valley Susan Coolidge
  • Saturnine faces were wreathed in smiles worthy of a pirouetting dancer.

    The Magic Skin Honore de Balzac
  • “And set him pirouetting, Sire,” sardonically suggested James.

    Mistress Nell George C. Hazelton, Jr.
  • "Doesn't it look nice," she cried, pirouetting before the glass.

    Anxious Audrey Mabel Quiller-Couch
  • Irene stood still suddenly in the middle of her pirouetting.

    Anxious Audrey Mabel Quiller-Couch
  • "He is alive—go on," breathed Margaret to the pirouetting geni of her fairy-tale.

    Faithful Margaret Annie Ashmore
  • "You could give a dance here," cried Brenda, pirouetting over the polished floor.

    Brenda's Bargain Helen Leah Reed
  • Dust devils were pirouetting in the hazy distance towards the mountains forming a corridor leading to the ranch.

    Make Mine Homogenized Rick Raphael
  • She turned, pirouetting lightly on her beaded moccasins, waving her arms and kissing her fingers.

    The Conquest

    Eva Emery Dye
  • And again the big motor roared and churned up the mud and again Paddy took to prancing and pirouetting like a two-year-old.

    The Prairie Mother Arthur Stringer
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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