contra dance

con·tra dance | \ˈkän-trə-ˌdan(t)s \
variants: or \ˈkän-trə-ˌdan(t)s 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

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.

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

Share contra dance

Statistics for contra dance

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

See 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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!