See also: Dance, dancé, and daňče

English edit

 
A man and woman dancing.

Pronunciation edit

Etymology 1 edit

From Middle English dauncen, daunsen, a borrowing from Anglo-Norman dauncer, dancer (to dance) (compare Old French dancier), from Frankish *þansōn (to draw, pull, stretch out, gesture) (compare Old High German dansōn (to draw, pull)), from Proto-West Germanic *þansōn, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *tens- (to stretch, pull). Replaced Old English sealtian (to dance) borrowed from Latin saltāre (to leap, dance). More at thin.

Alternative forms edit

Noun edit

dance (countable and uncountable, plural dances)

  1. A sequence of rhythmic steps or movements usually performed to music, for pleasure or as a form of social interaction.
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter II, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, →OCLC:
      "I ought to arise and go forth with timbrels and with dances; but, do you know, I am not inclined to revels? There has been a little—just a very little bit too much festivity so far …. Not that I don't adore dinners and gossip and dances; not that I do not love to pervade bright and glittering places. []"
  2. A social gathering where dancing is the main activity.
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter II, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, →OCLC:
      "I ought to arise and go forth with timbrels and with dances; but, do you know, I am not inclined to revels? There has been a little—just a very little bit too much festivity so far …. Not that I don't adore dinners and gossip and dances; not that I do not love to pervade bright and glittering places. []"
    • 1985 April 29, Daniel Southerl, quoting Deng Liqun, “Saturday Night Fever in Peking”, in The Washington Post[1], →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 27 August 2023[2]:
      But, he continued, "the experience of the Peking Municipal Communist Youth League shows that, as long as dance parties are organized and supervised well by the work units concerned and these units organize their own sentries, as long as the people attending these dances are given a little coaching in advance on what is meant by normal socializing and recreation, and as long as these dances are organized, led and guided properly, there will be no incidents."
  3. (uncountable) The art, profession, and study of dancing.
  4. (uncountable) A genre of modern music characterised by sampled beats, repetitive rhythms and few lyrics.
  5. A piece of music with a particular dance rhythm.[1]
    • 1909, Archibald Marshall [pseudonym; Arthur Hammond Marshall], “A Court Ball”, in The Squire’s Daughter, New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead and Company, published 1919, →OCLC, page 9:
      They stayed together during three dances, went out on to the terrace, explored wherever they were permitted to explore, paid two visits to the buffet, and enjoyed themselves much in the same way as if they had been school-children surreptitiously breaking loose from an assembly of grown-ups.
  6. (figurative) A battle of wits, especially one commonly fought between two rivals.
    So how much longer are we gonna do this dance?
  7. (figurative, dated) Any strenuous or difficult movement, action, or task.
    • 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, translated by H.L. Brækstad, Folk and Fairy Tales, page 170:
      He that would watch the king's hares must not drag himself along as if he was a lazybones with soles of lead to his boots, or like a fly on a tar-brush, for when the hares began to scamper about on the hill-sides it was quite another dance than lying at home and catching fleas with mittens on.
  8. (apiology) A repetitive movement used in communication between worker honey bees.
    • 1961 November, W. Wittekindt, “An Understanding of Dancing Behaviour”, in G. H. Cale, editor, The American Bee Journal[3], volume 101, number 11, Hamilton, page 434:
      It was seen that the readiness to dance and intensity of the dance are clearly increased when the temperature in the hive remained between 28-36° C.
Hyponyms edit
Derived terms edit
Translations edit

Verb edit

dance (third-person singular simple present dances, present participle dancing, simple past and past participle danced)

  1. (intransitive) To move with rhythmic steps or movements, especially in time to music.
    I danced with her all night long.
    These drum beats are making me dance!
  2. (intransitive) To leap or move lightly and rapidly.
    His eyes danced with pleasure as he spoke.   She accused her political opponent of dancing around the issue instead of confronting it.
    • 1812–1818, George Gordon [Lord] Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, canto 2, verse 54:
      And woods along the banks are waving high, / Whose shadows in the glassy waters dance,
    • 2023 November 15, Prof. Jim Wild, “This train was delayed because of bad weather in space”, in RAIL, number 996, page 30:
      A common and beautiful side-effect of high solar activity is the Aurora Borealis - the northern lights that dance across Arctic skies.
  3. (transitive) To perform the steps to.
    Have you ever danced the tango?
  4. (transitive) To cause to dance, or move nimbly or merrily about.
  5. (figurative, euphemistic) To make love or have sex.
    You make me feel like dancing.
  6. (apiology, of a worker honey bee) To make a repetitive movement in order to communicate to other worker honey bees.
    • 1961 November, W. Wittekindt, “An Understanding of Dancing Behaviour”, in G. H. Cale, editor, The American Bee Journal[4], volume 101, number 11, Hamilton, page 434:
      It was seen that the readiness to dance and intensity of the dance are clearly increased when the temperature in the hive remained between 28-36° C.
  7. (figurative, euphemistic) To kick and convulse from the effects of being hanged.
    • 1907, Literary Digest[5], volume 34, page 364:
      If that veil can be maintained, if the workers can be kept from knowing the perfidy of officials, the criminality of capitalism, the murderous vengeance that is planned by the plutocratic powers of America, then Charles Moyer, William D. Haywood, and George Pettibone will dance on empty air, while the ghouls of capitalism rejoice because they have landed another blow upon the body of resisting labor.
    • 1926, Walter Noble Burns, The Saga of Billy the Kid[6], page 250:
      Beneath the shoulder blades of the limp form lying there lay the heart that had hated him, that had beat high at the thought of seeing him kick at the end of a hangman's rope, that had exulted in the prospect of him dancing a death dance on air.
    • 2001, Paul Doherty, The Hangman's Hymn (Canterbury Tales Mysteries, Book 5)[7]:
      Simon had seen other men executed at Berkeley, both in the castle and outside in the village. They were usually strung up like rats, left to dance, their death throes sometimes seeming to last forever.
    • 2010 January 12, Sara Starbuck, Dread Pirate Fleur and the Hangman's Noose[8], page 342:
      'Hats off!' the shout went up, not out of respect for those about to die, but for a better view of their death dance. The hangman, who was as drunk as anyone else, uncoiled the rope's free end from each prisoner in turn and threw it up to an assistant balanced precariously on the beam above. Each was tightly fastened, leaving very little slack. When the moment came, the carts would be driven out from under the prisoners, leaving them dancing the Tyburn jig, their legs paddling helplessly in the air.
    • 2019 November 7, Carter J. Gregory, The Hangman's Psalm: The Girl at the Gallows[9]:
      Not only will you be whipped, but Jack Ketch will be displeased. He knows how to attach the rope just so...a man's neck can be snaped in an instant and he feels pain for a moment only. Or, at Ketch's pleasure, the man swings in the air, his legs dance in an ungainly manner, his face turns red, his tongue turns purple and protrudes - a poor devil once bit off the tip and spit it out, and he chocked(sic) to death.
    • 2022 November 30, John Gardiner, A Hitchhiker's Triptych[10]:
      Initially, all hanging deaths were by the short rope. The victims strangled as they performed a twitching death dance. Over time there was a move to a longer rope. The extra drop meant the victim's neck snapped, causing a more humane death. For a long time adter the long rope was introduced, stories circulated around Aberdeen of executioners slipping in the short rope for criminals convicted of particularly heinous crimes, especially for crimes against children. No quick end for these devils. A slow dancing death, courtesy of the short rope, brouht in by canny executioners.
Synonyms edit
Derived terms edit
Descendants edit
  • Arabic: ⁧دانس(dāns)
  • Scottish Gaelic: danns
  • Zulu: dansa
Translations edit

See also edit

Etymology 2 edit

Related to dancy, dancetté, French danché.

Noun edit

dance (plural dances)

  1. (heraldry) A normally horizontal stripe called a fess that has been modified to zig-zag across the center of a coat of arms from dexter to sinister.
    • 1828, Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas, Walter (of Exeter), The Siege of Carlaverock in the XXVIII Edward I. A. D. MCCC, page 243:
      The fact appears to have been that Simon de Montacute bore two coats; the one, Argent, three fusils, which it is most probable was a corruption of a fess dancette, or a dance, Gules; and the other, Azure, a griffin segreant []
    • 1902, The Ancestor: A Quarterly Review of County and Family History, Heraldry and Antiquities ..., page 85:
      It is as follows - being headed by a shield of arms in colours - gold with a dance gules between three croslets fitchy gules.
    • 1922, Miscellanea Genealogica Et Heraldica, page 189:
      Or, a dance gules, in chief 3 lions' faces sable.

References edit

  1. ^ John A. Simpson and Edmund S. C. Weiner, editors (1989), “dance”, in The Compact Oxford English Dictionary, volume I (A–O), 2nd edition, Oxford: Clarendon Press, published 1991, →ISBN, page 387.

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit

French edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from English dance. Doublet of danse.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

dance f (uncountable)

  1. dance music

Galician edit

Verb edit

dance

  1. inflection of danzar:
    1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular imperative

Middle French edit

Etymology edit

From Old French dance.

Noun edit

dance f (plural dances)

  1. dance

Descendants edit

Old French edit

Etymology edit

From the verb dancier; see English dance, French danse.

Noun edit

dance oblique singularf (oblique plural dances, nominative singular dance, nominative plural dances)

  1. dance

Portuguese edit

Verb edit

dance

  1. inflection of dançar:
    1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular imperative

References edit

Spanish edit

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): (Spain) /ˈdanθe/ [ˈd̪ãn̟.θe]
  • IPA(key): (Latin America) /ˈdanse/ [ˈd̪ãn.se]
  • (Spain) Rhymes: -anθe
  • (Latin America) Rhymes: -anse
  • Syllabification: dan‧ce

Verb edit

dance

  1. inflection of danzar:
    1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular imperative