[ tar-uh n-tel-uh ]
/ ˌtær ənˈtɛl ə /


a rapid, whirling southern Italian dance in very quick sextuple, originally quadruple, meter, usually performed by a single couple, and formerly supposed to be a remedy for tarantism.
a piece of music either for the dance or in its rhythm.

Origin of tarantella

1775–85; < Italian, equivalent to Tarant(o) Taranto + -ella -elle

Can be confused

tarantella tarantula
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tarantella

British Dictionary definitions for tarantella


/ (ˌtærənˈtɛlə) /


a peasant dance from S Italy
a piece of music composed for or in the rhythm of this dance, in fast six-eight time

Word Origin for tarantella

C18: from Italian, from Taranto Taranto; associated with tarantism
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