can·​can ˈkan-ˌkan How to pronounce cancan (audio)
: 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 Perhaps see if zombies are able to do the cancan at the Moulin Rouge? Dalton Ross,, 17 July 2023 While the cancan never gets old, something just as French and risqué that’s lesser known is Madame Arthur, a drag cabaret and club in Pigalle where Serge Gainsbourg first played. Lane Nieset, Travel + Leisure, 7 July 2023 But, inside, my heart was doing the cancan. Jen Spyra, The New Yorker, 24 Dec. 2021 With dizzying dances — encompassing music hall, ballet, hip-hop and, of course, the cancan — by Otto Pichler, the show is frantic and fabulous, a brilliant curatorial move on Mr. Hinterhäuser’s part. Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, 16 Aug. 2019 Standard period fare like the cancan (bien sûr) and La Danse Apache is reinterpreted with electric wit. Ben Brantley, New York Times, 25 July 2019 Some mantises evolved to look like showy blossoms, a cancan of deadly come-ons. Natalie Angier, New York Times, 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, 12 July 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cancan.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



First Known Use

1830, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cancan was in 1830

Dictionary Entries Near cancan

Cite this Entry

“Cancan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

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