follow Dictionary.com

11 Trending Words of 2014

cakewalk

[keyk-wawk] /ˈkeɪkˌwɔk/
noun
1.
(formerly) a promenade or march, of black American origin, in which the couples with the most intricate or eccentric steps received cakes as prizes.
2.
a dance with a strutting step based on this promenade.
3.
music for this dance.
4.
Informal. something easy, sure, or certain.
verb (used without object)
5.
to walk or dance in or as if in a cakewalk.
Origin
1860-1865
1860-65; cake + walk
Related forms
cakewalker, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for cake-walk

cakewalk

/ˈkeɪkˌwɔːk/
noun
1.
a dance based on a march with intricate steps, originally performed by African-Americans with the prize of a cake for the best performers
2.
a piece of music composed for this dance
3.
(informal) an easily accomplished task
verb
4.
(intransitive) to perform the cakewalk
Derived Forms
cakewalker, noun
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for cake-walk

cakewalk

n.

1863, American English, from cake (n.) + walk (n.), probably in reference to the cake given as a prize for the fanciest steps in a procession in a Southern black custom (explained by Richard H. Thornton, 1912, as, "A walking competition among negroes," in which the prize cake goes to "the couple who put on most style"). Its figurative meaning of "something easy" (1863) is recorded before the literal one (1879). As a verb, from 1909. This may also be the source of the phrase to take the cake (1847).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for cake-walk

cakewalk

noun

Something very easy; breeze, cinch, piece of cake: Casey on his way to a cakewalk with the Senate Intelligence Committee/ Our players thought this season was going to be a cakewalk

[1890s+; fr the name of a 19th-century dance contest, influenced by piece of cake]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for cake-walk

cakewalk

couple dance that became a popular stage act for virtuoso dancers as well as a craze in fashionable ballrooms around 1900. Couples formed a square with the men on the inside and, stepping high to a lively tune, strutted around the square. The couples were eliminated one by one by several judges, who considered the elegant bearing of the men, the grace of the women, and the inventiveness of the dancers; the last remaining pair was presented with a highly decorated cake

Learn more about cakewalk with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for cakewalk

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for cake

10
11
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with cake-walk

Nearby words for cake-walk