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sword dance

any of various dances, usually performed by men, in which swords are ceremonially flourished or are laid on the ground and danced around.
Origin of sword dance
First recorded in 1595-1605
Related forms
sword dancer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sword dance
Historical Examples
  • The first dance performed was called the Mancha, or sword dance.

    Mark Seaworth William H.G. Kingston
  • They found a starfish, and wondered who came to dance a sword dance round it.

    Balloons Elizabeth Bibesco
  • She lifted two of the swords from the wall, crossed them on the floor and danced the sword dance of Scotland.

    When Winter Comes to Main Street

    Grant Martin Overton
  • I remember when the huge salvers and platters were cleared away, I was placed on the table to execute the sword dance.

    Lords of the North A. C. Laut
  • In another minute twenty Zakka Khels had begun a sword dance, yelling like the damned.

  • In any case, the system reminds me of an old Highlander's opening comment on a sword dance by a rock scorpion in a Tangier saloon.

    Pan-Islam George Wyman Bury
  • Skeat thinks the original dance may have been a sword dance, and with this he connects the word Brandish.

    Shakespeare and Music Edward W. Naylor
  • Young men vaulted with poles; others, in full costume, danced Highland flings and the sword dance.

    Our Journey to the Hebrides

    Joseph Pennell and Elizabeth Robins Pennell
  • One of them danced the sword dance, with which the travellers were greatly amused, and others of them figured in a reel.

  • There is a poor man who plays in the street round here from time to time and dances a sword dance.

British Dictionary definitions for sword dance

sword dance

a dance in which the performers dance nimbly over swords on the ground or brandish them in the air
Derived Forms
sword dancer, noun
sword dancing, noun
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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