• synonyms


[prans, prahns]
verb (used without object), pranced, pranc·ing.
  1. to spring from the hind legs; to move by springing, as a horse.
  2. to ride on a horse doing this.
  3. to ride gaily, proudly, or insolently.
  4. to move or go in an elated manner; cavort.
  5. to dance or move in a lively or spirited manner; caper.
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verb (used with object), pranced, pranc·ing.
  1. to cause to prance.
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  1. the act of prancing; a prancing movement.
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Origin of prance

1325–75; Middle English prauncen, praunsen (v.); akin to Danish (dial.) pransk spirited, said of a horse
Related formspranc·er, nounpranc·ing·ly, adverb


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for pranced

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He straddled one of the fencing foils and pranced across the room.

    The New Land

    Elma Ehrlich Levinger

  • He scrambled from the table and pranced about the room like a horse with blind staggers.

    Gov. Bob. Taylor's Tales

    Robert L. Taylor

  • She tried on one of the white dresses first and pranced about the room with it.

    Peggy in Her Blue Frock

    Eliza Orne White

  • Politicians, I believe, pranced about with fascinating agility.


    George A. Birmingham

  • After it pranced the local comandante, mounted, and a detachment of his troops.

British Dictionary definitions for pranced


  1. (intr) to swagger or strut
  2. (intr) to caper, gambol, or dance about
  3. (intr)
    1. (of a horse) to move with high lively springing steps
    2. to ride a horse that moves in this way
  4. (tr) to cause to prance
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  1. the act or an instance of prancing
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Derived Formsprancer, nounprancingly, adverb

Word Origin

C14 prauncen; perhaps related to German prangen to be in full splendour; compare Danish (dialect) pransk lively, spirited, used of a horse
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 pranced



late 14c., originally of horses, of unknown origin, perhaps related to Middle English pranken "to show off," from Middle Dutch pronken "to strut, parade" (see prank); or perhaps from Danish dialectal prandse "to go in a stately manner." Klein suggests Old French paravancier. Related: Pranced; prancing. As a noun from 1751, from the verb.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper