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

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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

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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

With an assist from Tracee Ellis Ross, the rapper danced around a public access television studio, decorated with tinsel walls in the style of Warhol’s infamous Factory, all while wearing a pastel blue suit and that sleek blonde wig. Vogue, "Tyler, the Creator (and His Plastic Clones) Can’t Stop Wearing Suits," 23 May 2019 America’s carriers were there to oppose that declaration, and for days, fighters from both countries danced in an airborne extension of diplomatic tensions until two U.S. fighters entered into a deadly dogfight. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, "Why the F-14 Tomcat Is Such a Badass Plane," 3 May 2019 But if everything breaks exactly right, fans who suffered all year at Madison Square Garden will be dancing in the street. Michael Salfino, WSJ, "New York Seeks a Draft-Lottery Double," 7 Apr. 2019 Even before Obama came out on stage, the audience was dancing to the upbeat playlist, posting on social media with the hashtag and cheering to the photos and videos of Obama playing on the big screen. Stefanie Loh, The Seattle Times, "From Ciara to Sue Bird: Seattle celebrities among 18,000 who welcomed Michelle Obama to Tacoma," 25 Mar. 2019 All three women danced and eventually sang together before Spears and Madonna shared a open-mouth kiss — with Madonna and Aguilera locking lips soon after. Zoe Szathmary, Fox News, "MTV VMAs most shocking moments, from Britney Spears and Madonna's kiss to Kanye West's mic grab," 20 Aug. 2018 Also, unusual for BalletX, the women danced en pointe in all three pieces. Ellen Dunkel, Philly.com, "BalletX heats up the summer with 3 premieres and live music," 12 July 2018 Its characters, mastered by women and indecipherable to men, appear in thin, downward-slanting wisps, like spider legs dancing across paper. Vogue, "This All-Female DJ Collective Wants to Empower the Women of Shanghai’s Nocturnal World," 15 May 2019 Meanwhile, Kendall Vertes has been busy acting, and Payton Ackerman is living and dancing in Los Angeles. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "Everything We Know About 'Dance Moms' Season 8," 14 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Those people have clearly never quietly fastened themselves in to one of Burton’s dresses, kissing each button into its closure in a secret, sensual dance. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "“I Really Feel Quite Lucky”—Sarah Burton Reflects on Her Magical Career at Alexander McQueen," 30 May 2019 On Tuesday night, the stars will perform a second dance—and then face the season's first elimination. Carole Glines, Fox News, "'DWTS' recap: first blind competitor wows crowd as a live TV blunder hurts an Instagram star," 25 Sep. 2018 There is a continuous dance of light and shadows on the house. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Spiraling Frank Lloyd Wright house can be yours for $12.9M," 4 Sep. 2018 Getty ImagesPool/Tim Graham Picture Library For anyone wondering why Harry seems to be dressed for a formal dance in these photos, that was actually the uniform that students at the all-boys' college were required to wear. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "These Prince Harry Throwback Photos From His Dorm Room Are Everything," 29 Aug. 2018 On a Thursday morning in April, Manhattan's Cipriani 42nd street is jarringly empty, a wide open dance floor and several un-set folding tables the only occupants of the spectacular, vaulted room. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "See How 32 Designers Transform a Dining Room in Just a Few Hours," 3 May 2019 Rent the Runway kicked off the launch of their kids’ service with a carnival-themed party, complete with stilt walkers, a dance floor, face painting, and Mommy-and-me jean jacket embroidery station. Annemarie Conte, Woman's Day, "Rent the Runway Kids Is Launching Next Week, and Your Daughters' Clothes Just Got 100% Cooler," 8 Apr. 2019 An otherwise casual person who wears scrubs to work, Nate looked smoking hot in a suit, complimented my outfit, was gracious to the newlyweds and their family, fetched drinks for my friends, and even spun a grandma around the dance floor. 2. Anne Roderique-jones, SELF, "15 Lessons I’ve Learned in 15 Years of Marriage," 8 Jan. 2019 Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Elon Musk is finally facing some consequences for his August take-Tesla-private dance. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Elon Musk is out as Tesla chairman," 30 Sep. 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.

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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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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.

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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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