cavort

verb
ca·​vort | \ kə-ˈvȯrt How to pronounce cavort (audio) \
cavorted; cavorting; cavorts

Definition of cavort

intransitive verb

1 : to leap or dance about in a lively manner Otters cavorted in the stream.
2 : to engage in extravagant behavior The governor has been criticized for cavorting with celebrities.

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Examples of cavort in a Sentence

Otters cavorted in the stream. children cavorting on the first sunny day of spring

Recent Examples on the Web

Beginning as a pennant vendor in 1962, Wilford Jones honed his persona and his fandom, turning out for Cowboys games and cavorting and whistling in his signature chaps and blue vest, brandishing a toy six-shooter. The Si Staff, SI.com, "100 Figures Who Shaped the NFL’s First Century," 28 Aug. 2019 The characters have as much heft as the lingerie in which the actresses cavort, but the point is the dazzle. Kyle Smith, National Review, "The Hottest New Show on Broadway Is . . .," 30 Aug. 2019 Portraits of Mughal rulers, or of nobles cavorting, can be lovely. New York Times, "The Week in Arts: Tom Hiddleston in ‘Betrayal’; Beck Takes the Stage in Queens," 10 Aug. 2019 Publicly displayed for the first time, the tripod’s legs are adorned with carved ivory bas-reliefs of cupids cavorting around herms, boundary markers of stone pillars with human heads. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "Review: Getty Villa’s ‘Buried by Vesuvius’ is exquisite and, at times, explicit," 3 July 2019 Roberts – who with Ernest Riera co-wrote both films – follows a similar slow wind-up, including echoing opening scenes, and is a little too fond of showing our heroines cavorting in bikinis. Mark Kennedy, Detroit Free Press, "‘47 Meters’ sequel is a toothy success," 15 Aug. 2019 Replace the fictional lore of witches with grotesque features wearing black pointy hats, poisoning apples and cavorting with the devil. Anna Bauman, Detroit Free Press, "Crystals, healing, acceptance: Inside the world of Michigan's witches," 2 Aug. 2019 Krista Schlueter for The New York Times Wednesday night at Radio City Music Hall, Billie Eilish was cavorting in a universe of her own design. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "Ariana Grande Was Updating Pop. Then Billie Eilish Came Along.," 21 June 2019 In his day, Fitzgerald cavorted with artists like Pablo Picasso, while designers like Coco Chanel also took a liking to the area. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Stoke Your Fear of Missing Out With These Sought-After Celebrity Vacation Getaways," 16 July 2019

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

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First Known Use of cavort

1794, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cavort

earlier also cauvaut, cavault, covault, of obscure origin

Note: All early attestations of the word are North American, the first known (as cauvauted) in a letter written by the North Carolina politician John Steele in April, 1794. Various etymologies have been suggested: that the word is altered from curvet entry 1; that it is comprised of the unstressed expressive prefix ca- (as in caboodle) and vault entry 3; that it has some relation with French chahuter "to dance the chahut (a boisterous, somewhat indecent dance), to make an uproar" (see Leo Spitzer, "Cavort," Journal of English and Germanic Philology, vol. 48 (1949), pp. 132-37). Apparently the same word is cavaulting "coition" in John Camden Hotten's A Dictionary of Modern, Slang, Cant, and Vulgar Words (London, 1859). In the second edition of Hotten's dictionary (London, 1860) the word has the etymological note "Lingua Franca, cavolta," though there appears to be no evidence for such a word in Lingua Franca.

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Learn More about cavort

Dictionary Entries near cavort

caviuna wood

cavolo nero

cavo-relievo

cavort

Cavour

CAVU

cavvy

Statistics for cavort

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cavort

The first known use of cavort was in 1794

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More Definitions for cavort

cavort

verb

English Language Learners Definition of cavort

: to jump or move around in a lively manner
: to spend time in an enjoyable and often wild or improper way

cavort

verb
ca·​vort | \ kə-ˈvort How to pronounce cavort (audio) \
cavorted; cavorting

Kids Definition of cavort

: to move or hop about in a lively way … I saw the raccoons cavort around my fireplace …— Jean Craighead George, My Side of the Mountain

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More from Merriam-Webster on cavort

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cavort

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cavort

Spanish Central: Translation of cavort

Nglish: Translation of cavort for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cavort for Arabic Speakers

Comments on cavort

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