dance

1 of 2

verb

ˈdan(t)s How to pronounce dance (audio)
ˈdän(t)s
danced; dancing

intransitive verb

1
: to move one's body rhythmically usually to music : to engage in or perform a dance (see dance entry 2 sense 2)
dancing to our favorite song
Shall we dance?
2
: to move or seem to move up and down or about in a quick or lively manner
dance for joy
leaves dancing in the wind

transitive verb

1
: to perform or take part in as a dancer
dance the waltz
2
: to cause to dance
danced the baby on her knee
3
: to bring into a specified condition by dancing
danced his way into her heart
danceable adjective
dancer noun

dance

2 of 2

noun

often attributive
1
: an act or instance of moving one's body rhythmically usually to music : an act or instance of dancing (see dance entry 1 sense 1)
the couple's first dance as husband and wife
May I have this dance?
2
: a series of rhythmic and patterned bodily movements usually performed to music
slow dances
dance moves
3
: a social gathering for dancing
a high school dance
4
: a piece of music by which dancing may be guided
5
: the art of dancing
studied dance in college
Phrases
dance attendance
: to attend in an eager and servile manner
a celebrity used to having people dance attendance on him

Examples of dance in a Sentence

Verb He never learned how to dance. She has always loved to dance. I like the song but it's really hard to dance to. He danced her across the floor. She dances with a famous ballet company. She's a great actress, and she can dance and sing, too. Noun They can do all the popular dances. The only dance he knows how to do is the twist. How about one more dance? He stopped right in the middle of the dance to tie his shoe. He did a celebration dance in the end zone after scoring the touchdown. She studied dance in college. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Behind them is a mural painted by Lamy’s daughter, a cemetery scene with a Minotaur-like creature and topless women dancing in niqabs. Nick Haramis Ola Rindal Dogukan Nesanir, New York Times, 16 Feb. 2024 Investigators are trying to piece together what happened near where only moments earlier coach Andy Reid’s talented squad sang and danced and bellowed. Mike Hendricks, Kansas City Star, 16 Feb. 2024 There are not many Iranian actresses who would be ready to perform without a hijab, to dance, and drink on screen. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Feb. 2024 The couple were captured dancing along to Usher's halftime show, which spanned his greatest hits and also featured Alicia Keys, H.E.R., and Ludacris. Jessica Wang, EW.com, 16 Feb. 2024 The real-life children who sing, dance and interact with Peppa and her friends between episodes also represent a diverse range of backgrounds. Common Sense Media, Washington Post, 16 Feb. 2024 The final image captures the fictional couple dancing in each other’s arms. Charna Flam, Peoplemag, 15 Feb. 2024 Many viral videos emerged from the party, including clips of the Philadelphia Eagles center dancing in a red and yellow wrestling mask and the 14-time Grammy winner singing along to her own songs with Travis. Hannah Dailey, Billboard, 14 Feb. 2024 John Legend, Chrissy Teigen Show Fans Some Love During Exit The power couple looked to be enjoying their night out at the Grammys as they were spotted dancing during performances by Miley Cyrus and Burna Boy (with Brandy and 21 Savage). Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 5 Feb. 2024
Noun
Their recipes were passed down through oral accounts and eventually made their way onto the page, but that is where the origin stories often get twisted, and to this day, unraveling the details can only be described as a delicate dance on eggshells. Lisa Cericola, Southern Living, 17 Feb. 2024 Corrupt politicians learn fashionable dances and attempt to go viral. Catherine Bray, Variety, 17 Feb. 2024 But Assayas is unable to locate the poignancy in that fraternal dance. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Feb. 2024 But this week in dance was remarkable for something else, too: the male solo. Gia Kourlas, New York Times, 16 Feb. 2024 Tabard Theatre has lifted us up with music, acting, poetry and dance year after year through COVID and tragedies too numerous to list. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, 16 Feb. 2024 Eighties babies and 90s kids spent hours immersed in music videos, memorizing choreography, rehearsing dance moves, and reciting the rhymes of our favorite rappers. Ebony Flake, Essence, 15 Feb. 2024 In Brazil, Carnival is synonymous with its samba schools’ parades, showcasing an array of dance, music, and elaborate costumes. Isabela Raygoza, Billboard, 15 Feb. 2024 There will be a vast number of traditional and contemporary entertainment options like lion dances, a taiko drum performance, dance competitions, music, carnival rides and more. The San Diego Union-Tribune Staff, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

Middle English dauncen, from Anglo-French dancer

First Known Use

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dance was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near dance

Cite this Entry

“Dance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dance. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

dance

1 of 2 verb
danced; dancing
1
: to engage in or perform a dance
2
: to move quickly up and down or about
3
: to perform or take part in as a dancer
danceable adjective
dancer noun

dance

2 of 2 noun
1
: an act or instance of dancing
2
: a series of rhythmic and patterned bodily movements usually performed to music
3
: a social gathering for dancing
4
: a piece of music by which dancing may be guided
5
: the art of dancing

More from Merriam-Webster on dance

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