[ min-yoo-et ]
/ ˌmɪn yuˈɛt /


a slow, stately dance in triple meter, popular in the 17th and 18th centuries.
a piece of music for such a dance or in its rhythm.

Origin of minuet

1665–75; < French menuet, equivalent to menu small (see menu) + -et -et; so called from the shortness of the dancers' steps
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for minuet

British Dictionary definitions for minuet


/ (ˌmɪnjʊˈɛt) /


a stately court dance of the 17th and 18th centuries in triple time
a piece of music composed for or in the rhythm of this dance, sometimes as a movement in a suite, sonata, or symphonySee also scherzo

Word Origin for minuet

C17: from French menuet dainty (referring to the dance steps), from menu small
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 minuet



"slow dance in triple measure," 1670s, from French menuet, from Old French menuet (adj.) "small, fine, delicate, narrow," from menu "small," from Latin minutus "small, minute" (see minute (adj.)). So called from the short steps taken in the dance. Spelling influenced in English by Italian minuetto.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper