• synonyms


[kwo-dril, kwuh-, kuh-]
See more synonyms for quadrille on Thesaurus.com
  1. a square dance for four couples, consisting of five parts or movements, each complete in itself.
  2. the music for such a dance.
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Origin of quadrille1

1730–40; < French < Spanish cuadrilla company, troop, diminutive of cuadra square < Latin quadra


[kwo-dril, kwuh-, kuh-]
  1. a card game played by four persons.
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Origin of quadrille2

1720–30; < French < Spanish cuartillo, diminutive of cuarto fourth < Latin quartus


[kwo-dril, kwuh-, kuh-]
  1. ruled in squares, as graph paper.
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Origin of quadrille3

1880–85; < French quadrillé, past participle of quadriller to rule in squares, derivative of quadrille lozenge < Spanish cuadrilla; see quadrille1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for quadrille

Historical Examples

  • I would not take the trouble to stand up in a quadrille, if I were in his place.

    Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII. No. 5. May 1848


  • I opened it by dancing a quadrille with Flavia: then I waltzed with her.

  • Coupeau was trying to force his way through the dancers and was disrupting the quadrille.


    Emile Zola

  • They'll turn the squadron into a quadrille and the march into a dance.

  • She could not say any more, as she was called away to a game at quadrille.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

British Dictionary definitions for quadrille


  1. a square dance of five or more figures for four or more couples
  2. a piece of music for such a dance, alternating between simple duple and compound duple time
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Word Origin

C18: via French from Spanish cuadrilla, diminutive of cuadro square, from Latin quadra


  1. an old card game for four players
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Word Origin

C18: from French, from Spanish cuartillo, from cuarto fourth, from Latin quartus, influenced by quadrille 1
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 quadrille


1773, "lively square dance for four couples," from French quadrille (17c.), originally one of four groups of horsemen in a tournament (a sense attested in English from 1738), from Spanish cuadrilla, diminutive of cuadro "four-sided battle square," from Latin quadrum "a square," related to quattuor "four" (see four). The craze for the dance hit England in 1816, and it underwent a vigorous revival late 19c. among the middle classes.

Earlier the name of a popular card game for four hands, and in this sense from French quadrille (1725), from Spanish cuartillo, from cuarto "fourth," from Latin quartus. OED notes it as fashionable from 1726 ("and was in turn superseded by whist"), the year of Swift's (or Congreve's) satirical ballad on the craze:

The commoner, and knight, the peer,
Men of all ranks and fame,
Leave to their wives the only care,
To propagate their name;
And well that duty they fulfil
When the good husband's at Quadrille &c.
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper