[ kuh-til-yuh n, koh- ]
/ kəˈtɪl yən, koʊ- /


a formal ball given especially for debutantes.
a lively French social dance originating in the 18th century, consisting of a variety of steps and figures and performed by couples.
any of various dances resembling the quadrille.
music arranged or played for these dances.
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 cote coat + -illon diminutive suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cotillion

British Dictionary definitions for cotillion



/ (kəˈtɪljən, kəʊ-) /


a French formation dance of the 18th century
US a quadrille
US a complicated dance with frequent changes of partners
US and Canadian a formal ball, esp one at which debutantes are presented

Word Origin for 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