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dance

[dans, dahns] /dæns, dɑns/
verb (used without object), danced, dancing.
1.
to move one's feet or body, or both, rhythmically in a pattern of steps, especially to the accompaniment of music.
2.
to leap, skip, etc., as from excitement or emotion; move nimbly or quickly:
to dance with joy.
3.
to bob up and down:
The toy sailboats danced on the pond.
verb (used with object), danced, dancing.
4.
to perform or take part in (a dance):
to dance a waltz.
5.
to cause to dance:
He danced her around the ballroom.
6.
to cause to be in a specified condition by dancing:
She danced her way to stardom.
noun
7.
a successive group of rhythmical steps or bodily motions, or both, usually executed to music.
8.
an act or round of dancing; set:
May I have this dance?
9.
the art of dancing:
to study dance.
10.
a social gathering or party for dancing; ball:
Was he invited to the dance?
11.
a piece of music suited in rhythm or style to a particular form of dancing:
He liked the composer's country dances.
12.
Animal Behavior. a stylized pattern of movements performed by an animal, as a bird in courtship display, or an insect, as a honeybee in indicating a source of nectar.
13.
the dance, ballet, interpretive dancing, and other dancing of an artistic nature performed by professional dancers before an audience.
Idioms
14.
dance attendance. attendance (def 3).
15.
dance on air, Slang. to be hanged.
16.
dance to another tune, to change one's behavior, attitudes, etc.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; (v.) Middle English da(u)ncen < Anglo-French dancer, dauncer, Old French dancier, perhaps < Old High German *dansjan to lead (someone) to a dance; (noun) Middle English da(u)nce < Anglo-French; Old French dance, derivative of dancier
Related forms
dancingly, adverb
antidancing, adjective
outdance, verb (used with object), outdanced, outdancing.
undancing, adjective
well-danced, adjective
Synonyms
2. cavort, caper, frolic, gambol, prance.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for dances
  • The notion of how dances were to be executed changed dramatically over the years.
  • The vast majority of dances now performed were composed in the last century.
  • Instead, he sings and dances his way through a musical world in perfect syncopation.
  • They hold festivals and dances to keep their traditions alive.
  • The goals of dances range from pure entertainment to religious devotion.
  • The gymnasium is frequently rented out for private events, dances and weddings.
  • Midnight, various songs and dances, animal acts, and miscellany acts.
  • In some dances the separation distance between the partners remains pretty constant.
British Dictionary definitions for dances

dance

/dɑːns/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to move the feet and body rhythmically, esp in time to music
2.
(transitive) to perform (a particular dance)
3.
(intransitive) to skip or leap, as in joy, etc
4.
to move or cause to move in a light rhythmic way
5.
dance attendance on someone, to attend someone solicitously or obsequiously
noun
6.
a series of rhythmic steps and movements, usually in time to music related adjective Terpsichorean
7.
an act of dancing
8.
  1. a social meeting arranged for dancing; ball
  2. (as modifier): a dance hall
9.
a piece of music in the rhythm of a particular dance form, such as a waltz
10.
short for dance music (sense 2)
11.
dancelike movements made by some insects and birds, esp as part of a behaviour pattern
12.
(Brit, informal) lead someone a dance, to cause someone continued worry and exasperation; play up
Derived Forms
danceable, adjective
dancer, noun
dancing, noun, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French dancier
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 dances

dance

v.

c.1300, from Old French dancier (12c., Modern French danser), of unknown origin, perhaps from Low Frankish *dintjan and akin to Old Frisian dintje "tremble, quiver." A word of uncertain origin but which, through French influence in arts and society, has become the primary word for this activity from Spain to Russia (e.g. Italian danzare, Spanish danzar, Rumanian dansa, Swedish dansa, German tanzen).

In part the loanword from French is used mainly with reference to fashionable dancing while the older native word persists in use with reference to folk-dancing, as definitively Russ. pljasat' vs. tancovat' [Buck].
Replaced Old English sealtian, itself a borrowing from Latin saltare "to dance," frequentative of salire "to leap" (see salient (adj.); "dance" words frequently are derived from words meaning "jump, leap"). Related: Danced; dancing.
It is strange, and will, I am sure, appear to my readers almost incredible, that as far as I have ever read, there is no reference that can be identified as containing a clear allusion to dancing in any of our really ancient MS. books. [Eugene O'Curry, "On the Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish," vol. 2, p.406, 1873]

n.

c.1300, from dance (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for dances

dance

noun

A fight between rival gangs; rumble: The kids have plenty of time for pushing a dance (1940s+ Street gang)

Related Terms

get the last dance, go into one's dance, song and dance, tap dance


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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dances in the Bible

found in Judg. 21:21, 23; Ps. 30:11; 149:3; 150:4; Jer. 31:4, 13, etc., as the translation of _hul_, which points to the whirling motion of Oriental sacred dances. It is the rendering of a word (rakad') which means to skip or leap for joy, in Eccl. 3:4; Job 21:11; Isa. 13:21, etc. In the New Testament it is in like manner the translation of different Greek words, circular motion (Luke 15:25); leaping up and down in concert (Matt. 11:17), and by a single person (Matt. 14:6). It is spoken of as symbolical of rejoicing (Eccl. 3:4. Comp. Ps. 30:11; Matt. 11: 17). The Hebrews had their sacred dances expressive of joy and thanksgiving, when the performers were usually females (Ex. 15:20; 1 Sam. 18:6). The ancient dance was very different from that common among Western nations. It was usually the part of the women only (Ex. 15:20; Judg. 11:34; comp. 5:1). Hence the peculiarity of David's conduct in dancing before the ark of the Lord (2 Sam. 6:14). The women took part in it with their timbrels. Michal should, in accordance with the example of Miriam and others, have herself led the female choir, instead of keeping aloof on the occasion and "looking through the window." David led the choir "uncovered", i.e., wearing only the ephod or linen tunic. He thought only of the honour of God, and forgot himself. From being reserved for occasions of religious worship and festivity, it came gradually to be practised in common life on occasions of rejoicing (Jer. 31:4). The sexes among the Jews always danced separately. The daughter of Herodias danced alone (Matt. 14:6).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with dances
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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