[ rig-uh-doon ]

  1. a lively dance, formerly popular, for one couple, characterized by a jumping step and usually in quick duple meter.

  2. a piece of music for this dance or in its rhythm.

Origin of rigadoon

1685–95; <French rigaudon, perhaps from name Rigaud
  • Also rigaudon, rig·o·don [rig-uh-don] /ˌrɪg əˈdɒn/ .

Words Nearby rigadoon

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use rigadoon in a sentence

  • The dance itself is nothing; it might as well be called a rigadoon or a Sailor's Hornpipe, so far as the steps go.

  • To build a city he had only to play a rigadoon and a minuet; but the other hero destroyed them by the sound of rams' horns.

    Voltaire's Romances | Franois-Marie Arouet
  • Arm in arm, their sabots clogging, they did a rigadoon down the winding road.

    The Ten-foot Chain | Achmed Abdullah
  • She would dance you a rigadoon or cut a pigeon's wing for you very respectably.

    The Poet at the Breakfast Table | Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • And the Doctor looked as if he should like to rigadoon and sashy across as well as the young one he was talkin' about.

    Elsie Venner | Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

British Dictionary definitions for rigadoon


rigaudon (French riɡodɔ̃)

/ (ˌrɪɡəˈduːn) /

  1. an old Provençal couple dance, light and graceful, in lively duple time

  2. a piece of music for or in the rhythm of this dance

Origin of rigadoon

C17: from French, allegedly from its inventor Rigaud, a dancing master at Marseille

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