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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.
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Examples from the web for cakewalk
  • It won't happen over night and it won't be an easy cakewalk.
  • Nonetheless, the path from nostril to gray matter isn't a cakewalk.
  • On many campuses, creating a portfolio is no cakewalk.
  • The evening began with the brisk kicks of a cakewalk quadrille.
  • The breathless, round-the-clock reporting that conveyed a cakewalk in the making.
  • Syncopation in ragtime was varied and more complex than the simple cakewalk.
  • Foreign investment in the retail food sector is not always a cakewalk.
  • Why did you take this job, because it is clear that this is no cakewalk.
  • Outlandish costumes and make-up were standard fare in shows that featured the cakewalk, dancing, and singing.
British Dictionary definitions for cakewalk

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
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Word Origin and History for 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
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Slang definitions & phrases for cakewalk

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.
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Encyclopedia Article for 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.
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21
23
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