can·​can | \ ˈkan-ˌkan How to pronounce cancan (audio) \

Definition of cancan

: a woman's dance of French origin characterized by high kicking usually while holding up the front of a full ruffled skirt

Examples of cancan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Some mantises evolved to look like showy blossoms, a cancan of deadly come-ons. Natalie Angier, New York Times, "Birds Beware: The Praying Mantis Wants Your Brain," 22 Sep. 2017 Friday night at 8:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Live entertainment at four stages ranges from Madame Gigi's Outrageous French CanCans to Milwaukee area singer-songwriters Claire Kelly and Ryan McIntyre. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Free Bastille Days festival gives Milwaukee a lively French accent," 12 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cancan.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of cancan

1842, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cancan


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The first known use of cancan was in 1842

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English Language Learners Definition of cancan

: a woman's dance of French origin that involves kicking the legs while holding up the front of a full skirt

More from Merriam-Webster on cancan

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cancan Encyclopedia article about cancan

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showing courage and determination

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