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  1. a whirling about on one foot or on the points of the toes, as in ballet dancing.
  2. Dressage. a complete turn in which the horse uses its hind legs as a pivot.
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verb (used without object), pir·ou·et·ted, pir·ou·et·ting.
  1. to perform a pirouette; whirl, as on the toes.
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Origin of pirouette

1700–10; < French: a whirl, top, feminine of Middle French pirouet, equivalent to pirou- (cognate with Italian pirolo, diminutive of piro peg) + -et -et
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for pirouette

cycle, direction, angle, trend, shift, curve, departure, spiral, twist, wind, reversal, swing, corner, spin, round, change, swirl, flurry, whirl, swivel

Examples from the Web for pirouette

Contemporary Examples of pirouette

Historical Examples of pirouette

British Dictionary definitions for pirouette


  1. a body spin, esp in dancing, on the toes or the ball of the foot
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  1. (intr) to perform a pirouette
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Word Origin for pirouette

C18: from French, from Old French pirouet spinning top; related to Italian pirolo little peg
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 pirouette


1706, from French pirouette "spinning top; pirouette in dancing," from Middle French pirouet "spinning top" (15c.), from Gallo-Romance root *pir- "peg, plug" (cf. Italian piruolo "peg top") + diminutive suffix -ette.

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1822, from pirouette (n.) and also from French pirouetter. Related: Pirouetted; pirouetting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper