[noun kur-vit; verb ker-vet, kur-vit]


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.

to leap in a curvet, as a horse; cause one's horse to do this.
to leap and frisk.

verb (used with object), cur·vet·ted or cur·vet·ed, cur·vet·ting or cur·vet·ing.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for curvet

Historical Examples of curvet

  • Cares fly with the first curvet, and the very sight of a spur is enough to prevent one committing suicide.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

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

  • The horses of his body-guard began to paw and curvet to free their feet as the loose reins tightened on their necks.

    The White Blackbird

    Hudson Douglas

  • Stubb's horse, in particular, began to prance and curvet in a manner which greatly disturbed his rider's equanimity.

    Vassall Morton

    Francis Parkman

  • Margaret Douglas flicked her steed impatiently, causing the spirited little beast to curvet.

    The Black Douglas

    S. R. Crockett

British Dictionary definitions for curvet



dressage a low leap with all four feet off the ground

verb -vets, -vetting, -vetted, -vets, -veting or -veted

dressage to make or cause to make such a leap
(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