break dancing

or break·danc·ing



a style of acrobatic dancing originating in the mid-1970s, often performed to rap music usually by teenage males in the streets, and characterized by intricate footwork, pantomime, spinning headstands, tumbling, and elaborate improvised virtuosic movements.

Nearby words

  1. break away,
  2. break bread,
  3. break camp,
  4. break cover,
  5. break dance,
  6. break down,
  7. break even,
  8. break feeding,
  9. break ground,
  10. break in

Origin of break dancing

the sense of break is unclear; cf. breakdown

Also called break, breaking.

Related formsbreak dancer, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for break dancing

Word Origin and History for break dancing

break dancing


1982, but the style itself evolved late 1970s in South Bronx. The reference is to the rhythmic break in a pop-dance song (see break (n.)), which the DJs isolated and the dancers performed to. Breakdown "a riotous dance, in the style of the negroes" is recorded from 1864.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper