- a square dance for four couples, consisting of five parts or movements, each complete in itself.
- the music for such a dance.
Origin of quadrille1
- a card game played by four persons.
Origin of quadrille2
- ruled in squares, as graph paper.
Origin of quadrille3
Examples from the Web for quadrille
I would not take the trouble to stand up in a quadrille, if I were in his place.
I opened it by dancing a quadrille with Flavia: then I waltzed with her.The Prisoner of Zenda
Coupeau was trying to force his way through the dancers and was disrupting the quadrille.L'Assommoir
They'll turn the squadron into a quadrille and the march into a dance.Rosinante to the Road Again
John Dos Passos
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
- a square dance of five or more figures for four or more couples
- a piece of music for such a dance, alternating between simple duple and compound duple time
- an old card game for four players
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 OED notes it as fashionable from 1726 ("and was in turn superseded by whist"), the year of Swift's (or Congreve's) satirical ballad on the craze: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.