• synonyms


[sneyk-dans, -dahns]
verb (used without object), snake-danced, snake-danc·ing.
  1. to perform a snake dance.
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Origin of snake-dance

First recorded in 1880–85

snake dance

  1. a ceremonial dance of the American Indian in which snakes or representations of snakes are handled or imitated by the dancers.
  2. a parade or procession, especially in celebration of a sports victory, in which the participants weave in single file in a serpentine course.
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Origin of snake dance

An Americanism dating back to 1765–75
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for snake-dance

Historical Examples

  • Remember the sacred bull of Egypt and the snake-dance of the Hopi.

    The Tyranny of the Dark

    Hamlin Garland

  • Among those at the snake-dance was a Franciscan priest, who has done much good work on the Navajo reservation.

  • The snake-dance itself took place in the afternoon at five o'clock.

  • He said sneeringly that Maskelyne and Cooke in music had come to life, and suggested a snake-dance.

  • There was, when last presented, no special dress adopted for the snake-dance, and the horn rattle is used also in other dances.

British Dictionary definitions for snake-dance

snake dance

  1. a ceremonial dance, performed by the priests of the American Hopi Indians, in which live snakes are held in the mouth
    1. the swaying movements of snakes responding to a snake charmer
    2. a Hindu dance in which performers imitate such snake movements
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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