• 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

British Dictionary definitions for prancer


  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 prancer


1560s, originally thieves' slang for "a horse," agent noun from prance (v.).

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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