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morris dance

[mawr-is, mor-] /ˈmɔr ɪs, ˈmɒr-/
a rural folk dance of north English origin, performed in costume traditionally by men who originally represented characters of the Robin Hood legend, especially in May Day festivities.
Also called morris.
Origin of morris dance
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English moreys daunce Moorish dance; see Moorish Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for morris-dance

morris dance

any of various old English folk dances usually performed by men (morris men) to the accompaniment of violin, concertina, etc. The dancers are adorned with bells and often represent characters from folk tales Often shortened to morris
Derived Forms
morris dancing, noun
Word Origin
C15 moreys daunce Moorish dance. See Moor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for morris-dance

morris dance


mid-15c., moreys daunce "Moorish dance," from Flemish mooriske dans, from Old French morois "Moorish, Arab, black," from More "Moor" (see Moor). Unknown why the English dance was called this, unless in reference to fantastic dancing or costumes (cf. Italian Moresco, a related dance, literally "Moorish;" German moriskentanz, French moresque).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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