[ kuh-til-yuhn, koh- ]

  1. a formal ball given especially for debutantes.

  2. a lively French social dance originating in the 18th century, consisting of a variety of steps and figures and performed by couples.

  1. any of various dances resembling the quadrille.

  2. music arranged or played for these dances.

  3. a formalized dance for a large number of people, in which a head couple leads the other dancers through elaborate and stately figures.

Origin of cotillion

1760–70; <French cotillon kind of dance, in Old French: petticoat, equivalent to cotecoat + -illon diminutive suffix

Words Nearby cotillion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use cotillion in a sentence

  • From the German cotillion, back to the Virginia reel, is indeed a bound.

    The Art of Entertaining | M. E. W. Sherwood

British Dictionary definitions for cotillion



/ (kəˈtɪljən, kəʊ-) /

  1. a French formation dance of the 18th century

  2. US a quadrille

  1. US a complicated dance with frequent changes of partners

  2. US and Canadian a formal ball, esp one at which debutantes are presented

Origin of cotillion

C18: from French cotillon dance, from Old French: petticoat, from cote coat

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