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[kab-ree-ohl; French ka-bree-awl] /ˈkæb riˌoʊl; French ka briˈɔl/
noun, plural cabrioles
[kab-ree-ohlz; French ka-bree-awl] /ˈkæb riˌoʊlz; French ka briˈɔl/ (Show IPA)
Furniture. a curved, tapering leg curving outward at the top and inward farther down so as to end in a round pad, the semblance of an animal's paw, or some other feature: used especially in the first half of the 18th century.
Ballet. a leap in which one leg is raised in the air and the other is brought up to beat against it.
1775-85; < French: leap, caper; so called because modeled on leg of a capering animal (see capriole); b by influence of cabri kid (≪ Old Provençal) and kindred words Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cabriole
  • The cabriole legs, ending in bold claw and ball feet, are vigorously carved at the knee in an acanthus design.
  • The legs are of the cabriole style with ball and claw foot.
British Dictionary definitions for cabriole


Also called cabriole leg. a type of furniture leg, popular in the first half of the 18th century, in which an upper convex curve descends tapering to a concave curve
(ballet) a leap in the air with one leg outstretched and the other beating against it
Word Origin
C18: from French, from cabrioler to caper; from its being based on the leg of a capering animal; see cabriolet
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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Encyclopedia Article for cabriole

ballet jump, formerly performed only by men, in which the dancer beats the calves of the legs together in the air, with a scissors-like movement. When the beat occurs, the legs are extended at either a 45 or 90 angle to the body at the front, side, or back. The dancer may land on one foot, then bring the second foot down to fifth position-cabriole fermee ("closed cabriole")-or may complete the step with the second foot in the air-cabriole ouverte ("open cabriole").

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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