verb (used without object), danced, danc·ing.
verb (used with object), danced, danc·ing.
- dance attendance on,
- dance band,
- dance card,
- dance drama,
- dance floor
Origin of dance
- a social meeting arranged for dancing; ball
- (as modifier)a dance hall
Word Origin for dance
c.1300, from dance (v.).
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]
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
- lead a chase (dance)
- song and dance