contra dance

con·​tra dance | \ ˈkän-trə-ˌdan(t)s How to pronounce contra dance (audio) \
variants: or \ ˈkän-​trə-​ˌdan(t)s How to pronounce contredanse (audio) also  kōⁿ-​trə-​ˈdäⁿs \

Definition of contra dance

1 : a folk dance in which couples face each other in two lines or a square
2 : a piece of music for a contra dance

Examples of contra dance in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

After a pre-ball dance lesson, Bangers & Mash waltzes, polkas, mixers, quadrilles, country & contra dances, and other popular 19th-century couple and set dances. Lisa Herendeen, The Mercury News, "S.F. Bay Area calendar: Greek festival, comedy and more," 25 Aug. 2019 DANCE Bridgewater Community Dance Series features folk, square, and contra dance. Robert Knox,, "Art springs to life at Duxbury museum," 23 Mar. 2018 Members of the contra dance group, known as FOOTMAD, will be on the floor tonight at the downtown YWCA, with music provided by the Red Mountain Yellowhammers. Mary Colurso |,, "Things to do in Birmingham, Dec. 31-Jan. 6," 31 Dec. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of contra dance

1803, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for contra dance

French contredanse, by folk etymology from English country-dance

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about contra dance

Statistics for contra dance

Last Updated

30 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for contra dance

The first known use of contra dance was in 1803

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on contra dance

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with contra dance Encyclopedia article about contra dance

Comments on contra dance

What made you want to look up contra dance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


readily or continually undergoing change

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!