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Origin of cavort

1785–95, Americanism; earlier cavault, perhaps cur(vet) + vault2
Related formsca·vort·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for cavort


  1. (intr) to prance; caper
Derived Formscavorter, noun

Word Origin for cavort

C19: perhaps from curvet
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

Word Origin and History for cavort

1793, cauvaut, American English, of uncertain origin, sometimes said to be an alteration of curvet "a leap by a horse," from French and related to curve (v.). Or perhaps from ca- colloquial intensive prefix + vault "to jump, leap." Modern form attested by 1829. Related: Cavorted; cavorting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper