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 contra dance (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 Live music, inspired by traditional sea shanties and early-New England contra dance tunes, accompanies the story, as the cast and audience walk through the preserved landscapes., 14 July 2021 Mud in Yer Eye, providing contra dance and folk music to Clevelanders since 1978, returns for another year of fun and frivolity., 10 Sep. 2019 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, 25 Aug. 2019 DANCE Bridgewater Community Dance Series features folk, square, and contra dance. Robert Knox,, 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 |,, 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

Time Traveler for contra dance

Time Traveler

The first known use of contra dance was in 1803

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near contra dance


contra dance


See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for contra dance

Cite this Entry

“Contra dance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on contra dance Encyclopedia article about contra dance


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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