[noun kur-vit; verb ker-vet, kur-vit]
See more synonyms for curvet on
  1. Dressage. a leap of a horse from a rearing position, in which it springs up with the hind legs outstretched as the forelegs descend.
verb (used without object), cur·vet·ted or cur·vet·ed, cur·vet·ting or cur·vet·ing.
  1. to leap in a curvet, as a horse; cause one's horse to do this.
  2. to leap and frisk.
verb (used with object), cur·vet·ted or cur·vet·ed, cur·vet·ting or cur·vet·ing.
  1. to cause to make a curvet.

Origin of curvet

1565–75; earlier curvetto < Italian corvetta < French courbette, equivalent to courb(er) to bend, curve (≪ Latin curvāre; cf. curve) + -ette -ette Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for curvet

Historical Examples of curvet

  • His eyes shone with pleasure, and he allowed his horse to curvet freely.

    Before the Dawn

    Joseph Alexander Altsheler

  • With a curvet the boat from the open rounds up at the ladder.

    Sea and Sardinia

    D. H. Lawrence

  • The others left at the post fret, and fidget, and curvet about.

  • The cavaliers compel their horses to prance and curvet as they go by some lady of especial favor.

    Life on a Mediaeval Barony

    William Stearns Davis

  • Next follows the curvet, which is performed by throwing the body suddenly backwards until the hands touch the ground.

British Dictionary definitions for curvet


  1. dressage a low leap with all four feet off the ground
verb -vets, -vetting, -vetted, -vets, -veting or -veted
  1. dressage to make or cause to make such a leap
  2. (intr) to prance or frisk about

Word Origin for curvet

C16: from Old Italian corvetta, from Old French courbette, from courber to bend, from Latin curvāre
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