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[wawlts] /wɔlts/
a ballroom dance, in moderately fast triple meter, in which the dancers revolve in perpetual circles, taking one step to each beat.
a piece of music for, or in the rhythm of, this dance.
Informal. an easy victory or accomplishment:
The game was a waltz—we won by four touchdowns. The math exam was a waltz.
of, relating to, or characteristic of the waltz, as music, rhythm, or dance:
waltz tempo.
verb (used without object)
to dance or move in a waltz step or rhythm:
an invitation to waltz.
  1. to move breezily or casually:
    to waltz in late for dinner.
  2. to progress easily or successfully (often followed by through):
    to waltz through an exam.
verb (used with object)
to lead (a partner) in dancing a waltz.
Informal. to move or lead briskly and easily:
He waltzed us right into the governor's office.
to fill (a period of time) with waltzing (often followed by away, through, etc.):
They waltzed the night away.
Origin of waltz
obsolete English
1775-85; back formation from German Walzer a waltz (taken as walz + -er1), derivative of walzen to roll, dance; compare obsolete English walt unsteady, dial. walter to roll
Related forms
waltzer, noun
waltzlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for waltz
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She knew how to waltz and she could dance the polka and the schottishe.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine
  • He was wondering why the interest in the Gaelic language was not so strong as the interest in the waltz.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine
  • The trees of the forest seemed to waltz around me in mazy circles.

  • Jack De Baron would be there, and would want to know why she would not waltz.

    Is He Popenjoy?

    Anthony Trollope
  • "No doubt she was wrong to waltz after what you told her," said Lady Sarah.

    Is He Popenjoy?

    Anthony Trollope
British Dictionary definitions for waltz


a ballroom dance in triple time in which couples spin around as they progress round the room
a piece of music composed for or in the rhythm of this dance
to dance or lead (someone) in or as in a waltz: he waltzed her off her feet
(intransitive) to move in a sprightly and self-assured manner
(intransitive) (informal) to succeed easily
Derived Forms
waltzlike, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from German Walzer, from Middle High German walzen to roll; compare welter
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 waltz

dance performed to music in triple time, 1781, from German Waltzer, from walzen "to roll, dance," from Old High German walzan "to turn, roll," from Proto-Germanic *walt- (cf. Old Norse velta), from PIE root *wel- "to turn, revolve" (see volvox). Described in 1825 as "a riotous and indecent German dance."


1794, from waltz (n.). Meaning "to move nimbly" is recorded from 1862. Related: Waltzed; waltzing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for waltz



Something easily accomplished; cinch, piece of cake (1968+)


To move in a smooth, unhurried, yet sprightly manner: Jesse James could have waltzed in there and carted off the patio furniture/ someone waltzing into that wreck that we've grown old with searching (1862+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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