a lively dance, formerly popular, for one couple, characterized by a jumping step and usually in quick duple meter.
a piece of music for this dance or in its rhythm.

Also rigaudon, rig·o·don [rig-uh-don] /ˌrɪg əˈdɒn/.

Origin of rigadoon

1685–95; < French rigaudon, perhaps from name Rigaud
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rigadoon

Historical Examples of rigadoon

  • Arm in arm, their sabots clogging, they did a rigadoon down the winding road.

    The Ten-foot Chain

    Achmed Abdullah

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for rigadoon


rigaudon (French riɡodɔ̃)


an old Provençal couple dance, light and graceful, in lively duple time
a piece of music for or in the rhythm of this dance

Word Origin for 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