[dans, dahns]

verb (used without object), danced, danc·ing.

verb (used with object), danced, danc·ing.


Nearby words

  1. danaë,
  2. danaüs,
  3. danburite,
  4. danbury,
  5. danby,
  6. dance attendance on,
  7. dance band,
  8. dance card,
  9. dance drama,
  10. dance floor


Origin of dance

1250–1300; (v.) Middle English da(u)ncen < Anglo-French dancer, dauncer, Old French dancier, perhaps < Old High German *dansjan to lead (someone) to a dance; (noun) Middle English da(u)nce < Anglo-French; Old French dance, derivative of dancier

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for dance to another tune



(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
  1. a social meeting arranged for dancing; ball
  2. (as modifier)a dance hall
a piece of music in the rhythm of a particular dance form, such as a waltz
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
Derived Formsdanceable, adjectivedancer, noundancing, noun, adjective

Word Origin for dance

C13: from Old French dancier

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

Word Origin and History for dance to another tune
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with dance to another tune

dance to another tune

Change one's manner, behavior, or attitude. For example, He'll be dancing to another tune when he finds out that the board means business. Also see change one's tune.


In addition to the idioms beginning with dance

  • dance attendance on
  • dance to another tune

also see:

  • lead a chase (dance)
  • song and dance
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.