• synonyms


[pol-uh-neyz, poh-luh-]
  1. a slow dance of Polish origin, in triple meter, consisting chiefly of a march or promenade in couples.
  2. a piece of music for, or in the rhythm of, such a dance.
  3. Also pol·o·nese [pol-uh-neez, -nees, poh-luh-] /ˌpɒl əˈniz, -ˈnis, ˌpoʊ lə-/. a coatlike outer dress, combining bodice and cutaway overskirt, worn in the late 18th century over a separate skirt.
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Origin of polonaise

1765–75; < French, feminine of polonais Polish, equivalent to Polon- (< Medieval Latin Polonia Poland) + -ais -ese
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for polonaise

Historical Examples of polonaise

  • The Crown Prince was so kind as to walk the Polonaise with her.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

  • A quarter of an hour after my arrival, the ball began with a polonaise.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • The Polonaise ended the ball, and my mother sent us all off to sleep.

  • The men began to choose partners and take their places for the polonaise.

    War and Peace

    Leo Tolstoy

  • This polonaise appears as op. 71 in the collection of posthumous works.

British Dictionary definitions for polonaise


  1. a ceremonial marchlike dance in three-four time from Poland
  2. a piece of music composed for or in the rhythm of this dance
  3. a woman's costume with a tight bodice and an overskirt drawn back to show a decorative underskirt
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Word Origin for polonaise

C18: from French danse polonaise Polish dance
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 polonaise


1773, "woman's overdress" (from fancied resemblance to Polish costume); 1797, "stately dance," from French (danse) polonaise "a Polish (dance)," fem. of polonais (adj.) "Polish," from Pologne "Poland," from Medieval Latin Polonia "Poland" (see Poland). In the culinary sense, applied to dishes supposed to be cooked in Polish style, attested from 1889.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper