- to move one's feet or body, or both, rhythmically in a pattern of steps, especially to the accompaniment of music.
- to leap, skip, etc., as from excitement or emotion; move nimbly or quickly: to dance with joy.
- to bob up and down: The toy sailboats danced on the pond.
- to perform or take part in (a dance): to dance a waltz.
- to cause to dance: He danced her around the ballroom.
- to cause to be in a specified condition by dancing: She danced her way to stardom.
- a successive group of rhythmical steps or bodily motions, or both, usually executed to music.
- an act or round of dancing; set: May I have this dance?
- the art of dancing: to study dance.
- a social gathering or party for dancing; ball: Was he invited to the dance?
- a piece of music suited in rhythm or style to a particular form of dancing: He liked the composer's country dances.
- Animal Behavior. a stylized pattern of movements performed by an animal, as a bird in courtship display, or an insect, as a honeybee in indicating a source of nectar.
- the dance, ballet, interpretive dancing, and other dancing of an artistic nature performed by professional dancers before an audience.
- dance attendance. attendance(def 3).
- dance on air, Slang. to be hanged.
- dance to another tune, to change one's behavior, attitudes, etc.
Origin of dance
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for dance
Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance is a different sound for you.Belle & Sebastian Aren’t So Shy Anymore
January 7, 2015
Twelve-year-old dance prodigy Maddie Ziegler has suffered the wrath of Dance Moms tyrant Abby Lee Miller.See Burly Shia LaBeouf Interpretive Cage Fight Lil Sia in the Singer’s Fantastic New Music Video
January 7, 2015
And with the dance sequence, we wanted something very physical.Coffee Talk with Fred Armisen: On ‘Portlandia,’ Meeting Obama, and Taylor Swift’s Greatness
January 7, 2015
“My dance instructor always says she earns most of her income from private teaching,” says Monir.
Even for Arabic dance no one wears a long dress, just a scarf around the hips.
If he had known it, it was with the Dance of Death on the bridge of Lucerne.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
Would she come laughing, with all the triumph of the dance bright in her face?Way of the Lawless
Won't they dance, even for charity, except in their own houses?The Bacillus of Beauty
Get up here and dance, and don't sit there like a bear nursing a sore paw.In the Midst of Alarms
Where shall we set the tables, if we dance in the dining room?Chip, of the Flying U
B. M. Bower
- (intr) to move the feet and body rhythmically, esp in time to music
- (tr) to perform (a particular dance)
- (intr) to skip or leap, as in joy, etc
- to move or cause to move in a light rhythmic way
- dance attendance on someone to attend someone solicitously or obsequiously
- a series of rhythmic steps and movements, usually in time to musicRelated adjective: Terpsichorean
- an act of dancing
- a social meeting arranged for dancing; ball
- (as modifier)a dance hall
- a piece of music in the rhythm of a particular dance form, such as a waltz
- short for dance music (def. 2)
- dancelike movements made by some insects and birds, esp as part of a behaviour pattern
- lead someone a dance British informal to cause someone continued worry and exasperation; play up
Word Origin and History for dance
c.1300, from Old French dancier (12c., Modern French danser), of unknown origin, perhaps from Low Frankish *dintjan and akin to Old Frisian dintje "tremble, quiver." A word of uncertain origin but which, through French influence in arts and society, has become the primary word for this activity from Spain to Russia (e.g. Italian danzare, Spanish danzar, Rumanian dansa, Swedish dansa, German tanzen).
In part the loanword from French is used mainly with reference to fashionable dancing while the older native word persists in use with reference to folk-dancing, as definitively Russ. pljasat' vs. tancovat' [Buck].
Replaced Old English sealtian, itself a borrowing from Latin saltare "to dance," frequentative of salire "to leap" (see salient (adj.); "dance" words frequently are derived from words meaning "jump, leap"). Related: Danced; dancing.
It is strange, and will, I am sure, appear to my readers almost incredible, that as far as I have ever read, there is no reference that can be identified as containing a clear allusion to dancing in any of our really ancient MS. books. [Eugene O'Curry, "On the Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish," vol. 2, p.406, 1873]
c.1300, from dance (v.).
Idioms and Phrases with dance
In addition to the idioms beginning with dance
- dance attendance on
- dance to another tune
- lead a chase (dance)
- song and dance