Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[pahs-pyey] /pɑsˈpyeɪ/
noun, plural passepieds
[pahs-pyey, -pyeyz] /pɑsˈpyeɪ, -ˈpyeɪz/ (Show IPA)
a lively dance in triple meter popular in France in the 17th and 18th centuries.
a dance form in moderately fast 3/8 or 3/4 meter, occasionally constituting part of the 17th- and 18th-century instrumental suite.
1685-95; < French: literally, pass (the) foot, i.e., move it, dance. See pass, -ped Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for passepied


noun (pl) -pieds (-ˈpjeɪ)
a lively minuet of Breton origin, in triple time, popular in the 17th century
a piece of music composed for or in the rhythm of this dance
Word Origin
C17: from French: pass the foot
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
Encyclopedia Article for passepied


lively dance of Brittany adopted c. 1650 by French and English aristocrats, who, during the century of its popularity, frequently danced it dressed as shepherds and shepherdesses. As a court dance the passepied lost its original chain formations and became, like the minuet, a couple dance with figures. Its name probably refers to its characteristic step: the feet crossed and recrossed while gliding forward, one foot often striking the other

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

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for passepied

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for passepied

Scrabble Words With Friends