or ga·vot

[ guh-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.

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

Words Nearby gavotte Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use gavotte in a sentence

  • She was seated upon it, when I arrived with the third load, and through the house were dancing the sounds of a Bach gavotte.

    The Idyl of Twin Fires | Walter Prichard Eaton
  • The great room slowly cleared; the precise and animating music of a gavotte came sharply across the laughter and talk.

    The Rake's Progress | Marjorie Bowen
  • As an illustration of this fact, there is a little gavotte of mine, which I had occasion to play several times in Paris.

    Piano Mastery | Harriette Brower
  • When Eagle had watched them awhile she started up, spread her skirts in a sweeping courtesy, and began to dance a gavotte.

    Lazarre | Mary Hartwell Catherwood
  • He taught her the gavotte, the pavane, and many other dances, playing the measures on an old violin the while.

    A German Pompadour | Marie Hay

British Dictionary definitions for gavotte



/ (ɡəˈvɒt) /

  1. an old formal dance in quadruple time

  2. a piece of music composed for or in the rhythm of this dance

Origin of 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