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See more synonyms for branle on Thesaurus.com
  1. a lively 16th- and 17th-century round dance originating in France.
  2. the music for this dance.
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Origin of branle

1575–85; < Middle French, derivative of branler to shake, swing (probably from the phrase branler une danse), Old French bran(s)ler to move (a limb, the head), contraction of brandeler to shake, equivalent to brand(ir) to brandish + -eler suffix of expressive verbs < Vulgar Latin *-illāre
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for branle

Historical Examples

  • The baby who has not swung in a branle does not know the quintessence of baby luxury.

    Bayou Folk

    Kate Chopin

  • All but Bibine, who was left swinging in his branle with only Loka for company.

    Bayou Folk

    Kate Chopin

  • It was originally a branle of Poitou, derived from the Courante.

  • The Branle in its original form had steps like the Allemande.

  • Each returning sabbath saw Whitehall lighted up, and heard the tabors sound for a branle, (Anglicised 'brawl').

    The Wits and Beaux of Society

    Grace Wharton and Philip Wharton

British Dictionary definitions for branle


  1. an old French country dance performed in a linked circle
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Word Origin

C17: from Old French branler to shake, variant of brandir to brandish
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