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break dancing

a style of acrobatic dancing originating in the mid-1970s, often performed to rap music usually by teenage males in the streets, and characterized by intricate footwork, pantomime, spinning headstands, tumbling, and elaborate improvised virtuosic movements.
Also, breakdancing.
Also called break, breaking.
sense of break unclear; cf. breakdown (def 6)
Related forms
break dancer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for break dancing
  • And he's now doing the famous moonwalk, which he picked up from break dancing.
  • They used to set them up and turn them up as loud as they could for break dancing.
Word Origin and History for break dancing
break dancing
1982, but the style itself evolved late 1970s in South Bronx, and breakdown "a riotous dance, in the style of the negroes" is recorded from 1864. The reference in the modern case is to the rhythmic break in a pop-dance song (see break (n.)), which the DJs isolated and the dancers performed to.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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