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cotillion

[kuh-til-yuh n, koh-] /kəˈtɪl yən, koʊ-/
noun
1.
a formal ball given especially for debutantes.
2.
a lively French social dance originating in the 18th century, consisting of a variety of steps and figures and performed by couples.
3.
any of various dances resembling the quadrille.
4.
music arranged or played for these dances.
5.
a formalized dance for a large number of people, in which a head couple leads the other dancers through elaborate and stately figures.
Origin
1760-1770
1760-70; < French cotillon kind of dance, in Old French: petticoat, equivalent to cote coat + -illon diminutive suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for cotillion
  • The cotillion was danced in the ordinary which was hung with southern smilax.
British Dictionary definitions for cotillion

cotillion

/kəˈtɪljən; kəʊ-/
noun
1.
a French formation dance of the 18th century
2.
(US) a quadrille
3.
(US) a complicated dance with frequent changes of partners
4.
(US & Canadian) a formal ball, esp one at which debutantes are presented
Word Origin
C18: from French cotillon dance, from Old French: petticoat, from cotecoat
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
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Word Origin and History for cotillion
cotillion
1766, from Fr., originally "petticoat," a double dim. of O.Fr. cote "skirt" (see coat), its application to "a dance" is obscure. Meaning "formal ball" is 1898, Amer.Eng.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for cotillion

late 18th-century and 19th-century French court dance, popular also in England. A precursor of the quadrille, the cotillion was danced by four couples standing in a square set. The first and third, then the second and fourth, couples executed various series of geometric figures.

Learn more about cotillion with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Difficulty index for cotillion

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for cotillion

11
15
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