[puh-vahn, -van; French pa-van]

noun, plural pa·vanes [puh-vahnz, -vanz; French pa-van] /pəˈvɑnz, -ˈvænz; French paˈvan/.

a stately dance dating from the 16th century.
the music for this dance.

Also pav·an [pav-uh n, puh-vahn, -van] /ˈpæv ən, pəˈvɑn, -ˈvæn/, pavin.

Origin of pavane

1525–35; < Middle French < Italian pavana, contraction of padovana (feminine) of Padua (Italian Padova) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pavane

Historical Examples of pavane

  • She had learnt the 'Prelude,' and had had one lesson, a fortnight before, on the 'Pavane.'

    Spirit and Music

    H. Ernest Hunt

  • He was enraptured to find her in so winning a mood that he proposed a pavane.

    The Mercenary

    W. J. Eccott

  • They are to dance a pavane in the ball-room and I have to ask for instructions and hand them on.

    The Law Inevitable

    Louis Couperus

  • "They are going to dance the pavane almost at once," she murmured.

    The Law Inevitable

    Louis Couperus

  • “They are going to dance the pavane almost at once,” she murmured.

    The Inevitable

    Louis Couperus

British Dictionary definitions for pavane




a slow and stately dance of the 16th and 17th centuries
a piece of music composed for or in the rhythm of this dance, usually characterized by a slow stately triple time

Word Origin for pavane

C16 pavan, via French from Spanish pavana, from Old Italian padovana Paduan (dance), from Padova Padua
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