somersaults

somersault

[suhm-er-sawlt]
noun
1.
an acrobatic movement, either forward or backward, in which the body rolls end over end, making a complete revolution.
2.
such a movement performed in the air as part of a dive, tumbling routine, etc.
3.
a complete overturn or reversal, as of opinion.
verb (used without object)
4.
to perform a somersault.
Also, somerset [suhm-er-set] , summersault, summerset.


Origin:
1520–30; < Middle French sombresaut, alteration of sobresault; compare Old Provençal sobre over (< Latin super), saut a leap (< Latin saltus)

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World English Dictionary
somersault or summersault (ˈsʌməˌsɔːlt)
 
n
1.  a.  a forward roll in which the head is placed on the ground and the trunk and legs are turned over it
 b.  a similar roll in a backward direction
2.  an acrobatic feat in which either of these rolls are performed in midair, as in diving or gymnastics
3.  a complete reversal of opinion, policy, etc
 
vb
4.  (intr) to perform a somersault
 
[C16: from Old French soubresault, probably from Old Provençal sobresaut, from sobre over (from Latin super) + saut a jump, leap (from Latin saltus)]
 
summersault or summersault
 
n
 
vb
 
[C16: from Old French soubresault, probably from Old Provençal sobresaut, from sobre over (from Latin super) + saut a jump, leap (from Latin saltus)]

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Word Origin & History

somersault
1530, from M.Fr. sombresault, from O.Prov. sobresaut, from sobre "over" (from L. supra "over") + saut "a jump," from L. saltus, from the root of salire "to leap" (see salient). Sometimes further corrupted to somerset, etc.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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