dance

verb
\ ˈdan(t)s , 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

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Other Words from dance

Verb

danceable \ ˈdan(t)-​sə-​bəl \ adjective
dancer noun

Synonyms for dance

Synonyms: Verb

foot (it), hoof (it), step

Synonyms: Noun

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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The promo video featured famous supermodels like Emily Ratajkowski and Hailey Bieber dancing on yachts. Rose Minutaglio, Town & Country, "How Carola Jain, a Well-Connected New York Investor, Got Duped Into Funding the Fyre Festival," 26 Jan. 2019 The concerned families said they were forced to stay indoors to avoid the barely-dressed women dancing on the ship’s deck. Fox News, "Royal Caribbean refunds passengers shocked by conference's 'crazy' burlesque cruise," 3 Oct. 2018 Light has been made to stand still and dance on the pointy end of pins. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Salt-infused graphene creates an infrared cloaking device," 3 Aug. 2018 Before descending the ladder, Bey couldn't resist dancing on the stage in the sky, causing fans to erupt one last time. Sam Tornow, Billboard, "7 Times Beyonce Was a Pro During Concert Mishaps," 2 July 2018 Future shock: One of the worst places to watch a major-league game is the Diamondbacks’ Chase Field, a nonstop assault of one’s senses with loud music, a disc jockey and cheerleaders dancing on top of the dugouts. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "Giants' Madison Bumgarner likes strategy having no DH creates in National League," 30 June 2018 In an impromptu memorial outside a Hollywood bike shop, up to 1,000 fans filled the street and danced on rooftops, shouting along with his songs beneath a cloud of pot smoke. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Slain rapper XXXTentacion gets sendoff at memorial in Florida hockey arena," 27 June 2018 Walson and the other Gotti producers didn't have to pay for all of the Hotel du Cap party, where Travolta danced on stage with 50 Cent. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Gotti': How John Travolta Tried — and Failed — to Save His Passion Project," 18 June 2018 Buonanno hopes the public will continue to find time over the years to retreat to the idyllic countryside and enjoy the skills of dancing horses, carrying on a tradition that was established more than four centuries ago. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "'It's a labor of love': Tempel Farms celebrates 60 years of raising and training Lipizzans," 15 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The rest of the skins' visual elements dance and toy with players' periphery—and, even more importantly, employ astonishing depth-of-field effects. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Tetris Effect review: The puzzle game of my dreams—literally," 9 Nov. 2018 The dance number was also therapeutic for Kimball, who ended his engagement with Jenna Cooper earlier this month, less than 24 hours after the Bachelor in Paradise finale aired on ABC. Rose Minutaglio, Good Housekeeping, "Joe Amabile's 'Dancing With the Stars' Guest Jordan Kimball Suffered Hilarious Wardrobe Malfunction," 16 Oct. 2018 Expect everything from dance and miming to puppetry and monologues, but remain open-minded enough for surprises. Antonio Basada, Condé Nast Traveler, "5 Things to Do in Chicago This Labor Day," 31 Aug. 2018 At a concert in the town of Salt, 15 miles west of Amman, a performance this year by Bait al Nay spurred young members of the audience to stand, clap, dance, and sing – all surprised that such an instrument came from Jordanian soil. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, "In rediscovered reed flute, a soulful link to Jordanian identity," 13 July 2018 Pop music meditations, inflatable palm trees, slow dances, and untold family stories mix with humour, seagulls, and Gidget. SFChronicle.com, "Theater capsule reviews and listings, week of July 15," 12 July 2018 Bevel also proposed relocating the dance and drill room, located near the art rooms, to an area behind the school's stage while crews complete additional renovations to the most heavily damaged parts of campus during the school year. Shelby Webb, Houston Chronicle, "Santa Fe ISD trustees to vote on high school security upgrades," 10 July 2018 That video has already spawned a meme featuring her dance moves set to Beyoncé, Selena Gomez, and Justin Beiber. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Responded to Right Wing Outrage About Her Dancing with a New Dancing Video," 4 Jan. 2019 Those dripping-in-swag dance moves that have the Internet weak at the knees. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Ciara Reveals the 5 New Year’s Resolutions Behind That Body for 2019," 1 Jan. 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for dance

Last Updated

10 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dance

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

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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 \
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.

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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

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