dance

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

Definition of dance

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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
dance attendance
: to attend in an eager and servile manner a celebrity used to having people dance attendance on him

dance

noun, often attributive

Definition of dance (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from dance

Verb

danceable \ ˈdan(t)-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce danceable (audio) \ adjective
dancer noun

Synonyms for dance

Synonyms: Verb

foot (it), hoof (it), step

Synonyms: Noun

ball, cotillion (also cotillon), formal, hop, prom

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Think of it as dancing with the freshman stars, 2020 edition. Laurie Kellman, The Seattle Times, "Belles of the ball: Dem freshmen courted by 2020 hopefuls," 19 Feb. 2019 As Justine dances with Billy under the watchful eyes of Sam, Ruth, and her mother, Billy suggests a wild plan. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "R29 Binge Club: Glow Season 2, Episodes 1-10," 29 June 2018 The official Blue Bloods account uploaded an absolutely adorable photo of the duo dancing together. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'Blue Bloods' Sparks Rumors That Danny Reagan Might Start Dating Someone Close to Him," 16 Mar. 2019 Whether 21 or 71, the crowd climbed on the backs of their booths and onto their tables and danced. Ian Malone, Vogue, "Kendall, Hailey, Cara! Models Galore Came Out to the Opening of Edition Hotels’s Times Square Outpost," 13 Mar. 2019 Here's the video of Miley dancing along to the footage and memorable theme song: View this post on Instagram Best . Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Miley Cyrus Channels Hannah Montana at the 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Afterparty," 1 Mar. 2019 Thousands of singing and dancing devils take over the mountain town for six days of revelry in the streets. Kainaz Amaria, Vox, "2018, explained in pictures by women and non-binary photographers," 21 Dec. 2018 Kim and Kanye got to dance their first dance all over again, and Chrissy and Luna were there too—no fights this time! Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Chrissy Teigen and John Legend Reminisce Hilariously About Their Biggest Fight," 18 Jan. 2019 Former president Barack Obama seems to be enjoying his newfound free time outside of the White House by dancing at concerts, sprucing up his wardrobe, and hitting the campaign trail in support of rising Democratic candidates. Isabella Gomez, Teen Vogue, "Lin-Manuel Miranda and Barack Obama Perform "One Last Time" Remix from "Hamilton"," 22 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Spoiler: The outfits are so cute, you’ll probably be tempted to wear them off the dance floor, too. Hannah Miller, Seventeen, "How to Spice Up Your Prom Look For Any and Every Theme Imaginable," 27 Mar. 2019 The friends were captured on camera taking part in some hilarious drinking games and hitting the dance floor. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jennifer Lawrence and Adele Just Partied Together at a Gay Bar & the Photos Are Epic," 23 Mar. 2019 Lane is considered the single most influential performer in 19th century dance and is credited with inventing tap. Jesse J. Holland, The Seattle Times, "Explaining the outrage: Racist history of American blackface began in the 1830s," 6 Feb. 2019 The pair attended the prestigious LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts together (Komyshan majored in dance). Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Ansel Elgort's Girlfriend Violetta Komyshan: Everything We Know," 10 Jan. 2019 Her work in dance and musical theater earned her the title Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2014. Nardine Saad, latimes.com, "Gillian Lynne, the energetic ballerina who choreographed 'Cats' and 'Phantom of the Opera,' dies at 92," 2 July 2018 Which is why that unexpected dance scene is perfect. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "How 'Ex Machina' Foresaw the Weaponization of Data," 16 Jan. 2019 The dance classes with 75-year-old Japanese choreographer Yuichi Sugiyama are especially fun. Daisy Finer, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Golden Door Is the World's Most Iconic Spa," 21 Dec. 2018 Director Karole Armitage’s choreographic expertise showed in the dance-like movements of the characters, their interaction with the films, and the continuous flow of the 90-minute opera. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘Schoenberg in Hollywood’ Review: Grandiose Fantasy," 20 Nov. 2018

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

Verb

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dance

Verb and Noun

Middle English dauncen, from Anglo-French dancer

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dance

dance

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dance

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move your body in a way that goes with the rhythm and style of music that is being played
: to move with and guide (someone) as music plays : to dance with (someone)
: to perform (a particular type of dance)

dance

noun

English Language Learners Definition of dance (Entry 2 of 2)

: a series of movements that are done as music is playing : a way of dancing
: an act of dancing
: the art or activity of dancing

dance

verb
\ ˈdans How to pronounce dance (audio) \
danced; dancing

Kids Definition of dance

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to step or move through a series of movements usually in time to music
2 : to move about or up and down quickly and lightly Butterflies danced in the garden.

Other Words from dance

dancer noun

dance

noun

Kids Definition of dance (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of stepping or moving through a series of movements usually in time to music
2 : a social gathering for dancing
3 : a set of movements or steps for dancing usually in time to special music The samba is a popular dance of Brazil.
4 : the art of dancing She is studying dance.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on dance

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dance

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dance

Spanish Central: Translation of dance

Nglish: Translation of dance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dance for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dance

Comments on dance

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

WORD OF THE DAY

an enemy or opponent

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Thing: Animal Edition

  • alt 5a023732e6f75
  • Name that animal:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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