• synonyms


or ga·vot

  1. an old French dance in moderately quick quadruple meter.
  2. a piece of music for, or in the rhythm of, this dance, often forming one of the movements in the classical suite, usually following the saraband.
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Origin of gavotte

1690–1700; < French < Provençal gavoto a mountaineer of Provence, a dance of such mountaineers, apparently derivative of gava bird's crop (probably < pre-Latin *gaba throat, crop, goiter), alluding to the prevalence of goiter among the mountaineers
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gavotte

Historical Examples of gavotte

  • She drummed with one hand, then with both, at a gavotte on the rack before her.

    The Daughter of a Magnate

    Frank H. Spearman

  • The string band struck the preliminary cords of the gavotte.

    The Elusive Pimpernel

    Baroness Emmuska Orczy

  • In the intervals of his school work he composed a Gavotte which had a quaint origin.

    Musical Criticisms

    Arthur Johnstone

  • Miss Kennedy played a gavotte, and then another, and then a sonata.

  • After breakfast I had a last practice with him and Lecomte for the gavotte.

    Letters of a Diplomat's Wife

    Mary King Waddington

British Dictionary definitions for gavotte



  1. an old formal dance in quadruple time
  2. a piece of music composed for or in the rhythm of this dance
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Word Origin for gavotte

C17: from French, from Provençal gavoto, from gavot mountaineer, dweller in the Alps (where the dance originated), from gava goitre (widespread in the Alps), from Old Latin gaba (unattested) throat
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 gavotte


lively dance, 1690s, from French gavotte (17c.), from Old Provençal gavoto "mountaineer's dance," from gavot, a local name for an Alpine resident, literally "boor, glutton," from gaver "to stuff, force-feed poultry," from Old Provençal gava "crop." From the same source is French gavache "coward, dastard."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper