co·til·lion | \kō-ˈtil-yən, kə-\
variants: or less commonly cotillon \kō-ˈtil-yən, 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


ball, dance, formal, hop, prom

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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

For many who grow up in the South, cotillion classes are a rite of passage. Betsy Cribb, Southern Living, "What You Really Learn at Cotillion Class," 15 Feb. 2018 The young ladies were escorted by cotillion Board of Governor members, with two, Frances Elizabeth Reisman and Riley Marra Kirkpatrick, escorted by brothers Charles Eli Reisman and Connor James Kirkpatrick, respectively. Sue Strachan,, "Mid-Winter Cotillion presents 20 debutantes in 2017," 6 Jan. 2018 The cotillion, held at the Crystal Palace, also featured music from Dwight Fitch, Shalani Taylor performing a special ballet piece, dinner and dancing. Sue Strachan,, "Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority introduces its debutantes at 2018 cotillion," 5 Apr. 2018 Others have to explain that cotillions are not the kind of grueling social warfare portrayed on Gossip Girl. Bob Morris, Town & Country, "The Curious Plight of the Modern Debutante," 28 Nov. 2017 Bob and Shirley taught dance groups and cotillion classes at Temple Beth Am, Town of Surfside, and Temple Emanuel and other venues., "Deaths in South Florida: 4/25," 25 Apr. 2018 The cotillion is the culmination of this program, which also includes fundraising for the charity of their choice. Sue Strachan,, "Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority introduces its debutantes at 2018 cotillion," 5 Apr. 2018 Punk was fading, but club culture was rising, with parties like Blitz its cotillions. Matthew Schneier, New York Times, "His Name Was Blame: A Legend of London Fashion Remembered," 3 Mar. 2018 For children, cotillion is another place where the manners and etiquette that Mama teaches at home can be publicly practiced and reinforced. Betsy Cribb, Southern Living, "What You Really Learn at Cotillion Class," 15 Feb. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near cotillion






cotinga purple


Statistics for cotillion

Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for cotillion

The first known use of cotillion was in 1728

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English Language Learners Definition of cotillion

: a large formal party for dancing

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Comments on cotillion

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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