co·​til·​lion | \ kō-ˈtil-yən How to pronounce cotillion (audio) , kə- \
variants: or less commonly cotillon \ kō-​ˈtil-​yən How to pronounce cotillion (audio) , kə-​ , kȯ-​tē-​(y)ōⁿ \

Definition of cotillion

1 : a ballroom dance for couples that resembles the quadrille
2 : an elaborate dance with frequent changing of partners carried out under the leadership of one couple at formal balls
3 : a formal ball

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Synonyms for cotillion


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Examples of cotillion in a Sentence

young men hoping to meet the women of their dreams at the cotillion
Recent Examples on the Web The execution scene, its appalling cruelty cloaked in ceremony, bears a grotesque resemblance to the presentation of debutantes at a cotillion ball. Andrew Delbanco, The New York Review of Books, 27 Apr. 2021 The heroine’s mother, Eunice ( Erica Gimpel ), presides over a Harlem finishing school that prepares proper little girls for cotillion. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, 23 Dec. 2020 Committee members of the cotillion and past alumni will host a social distance parade to crown the 2020 Miss Cotillion. Briana Rice,, 1 May 2020 Also cotillion dresses in silver and emerald green and evening gowns encrusted in three-dimensional metallic blooms. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, 13 Feb. 2020 The cotillion is all about push and pull, and tension and release. Kathryn Lindsay,, 11 Feb. 2020 No wonder punch bowls are used for cotillion dances. Leslie Anne Tarabella, al, 8 Jan. 2020 The scuffle occurred at a meeting of the local cotillion club, which promotes good manners. Joseph Cranney, ProPublica, 27 Nov. 2019 But the player who stayed for the Wimbledon ball, sure departed unfashionably early from this cotillion. Jon Wertheim,, 1 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cotillion.' 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 cotillion

1728, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cotillion

French cotillon, literally, petticoat, from Old French, from cote coat

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Time Traveler for cotillion

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The first known use of cotillion was in 1728

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Statistics for cotillion

Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cotillion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of cotillion

chiefly US, formal : a large formal party for dancing

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