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war dance

a dance preliminary to going into battle or in celebration of a victory, as formerly among American Indians.
Origin of war dance
1705-15, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for war-dance
Historical Examples
  • They surrounded them, the victor and the vanquished, and danced a war-dance, singing impromptu words.

  • George had seen little of the red men and begged them to hold a war-dance.

    Historic Boyhoods Rupert Sargent Holland
  • Two nights after the decision by lot there was a gathering and a war-dance at the Igazipuza kraal.

    The Luck of Gerard Ridgeley Bertram Mitford
  • They danced upon the sea of fire as warriors dance the war-dance.

    The Book of Nature Myths Florence Holbrook
  • The Indians were given some liquor, in return for which they danced their war-dance before the boys.

  • They performed a war-dance for us, which was the wildest exhibition I have ever seen.

    Following the Equator, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • “I am going to be a soldier, Arnold,” put in Dicky, dancing a kind of war-dance round him.

    Johnny Ludlow, Third Series Mrs. Henry Wood
  • Little Tim sat in front, yelling like an Indian at a war-dance.

    The Rival Campers Ashore Ruel Perley Smith
  • An Indian chief, excelling all his tribe at a war-dance, could not have outdone the grotesque movements of the colonel.

    The Rival Campers Ruel Perley Smith
  • It is the war-dance, she said excitedly, the dance of the battle.

British Dictionary definitions for war-dance

war dance

a ceremonial dance performed before going to battle or after victory, esp by certain North American Indian peoples
a dance representing warlike action
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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