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

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 The footage covers a range of sweet moments — from when the pair walked down the aisle and recited their vows, to slow dancing together at the reception. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Audrey Roloff Shares Rare Wedding Footage on Instagram for Her and Jeremy's Anniversary," 21 Sep. 2018 In the video, Bishop can be seen dancing at 12:45 a.m. June 2 at Mile High Spirits Distillery and Tasting Bar as onlookers crowd around, smiling and laughing. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "Dancing FBI agent who shot man after backflip at Denver bar gets his gun back," 10 July 2018 Bieber and Baldwin, who previously dated before splitting in 2016, have been inseparable in recent days, having been spotted dancing at a restaurant on Friday (July 6). Mitchell Peters, Billboard, "Fans React to Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin's Reported Engagement News," 8 July 2018 Denver police have said Bishop was dancing at a nightclub in the early hours of June 2 when the gun fell from his waistband holster and hit the floor. Daniel Arkin /, NBC News, "FBI agent whose gun went off while doing dance backflip taken into custody," 12 June 2018 Brown addressed every crisis, updated every injury, and dealt with every off-the-court issue, from Embiid’s dancing at a Meek Mill concert to Markelle Fultz’s mysterious injury and damaged psyche. Marcus Hayes, Philly.com, "In Brett Brown, the Sixers have a decent GM at last | Marcus Hayes," 7 June 2018 Bring a yoga mat and participate in Project Yoga’s group class on the Great Lawn at 2 p.m. Festival-goers can dance at the Silent Disco or purchase eclectic items from Retail Row. Jennie Key, Cincinnati.com, "Winning: What you need to know to kick it at SummitFest," 7 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This bright, snug space is meant to fulfill many needs, whether that’s a casual meal, a late-night dance party, or a healthy brunch. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, "You’ll Want to Stay Awhile at Bowery’s Newest Bar, Where Tito’s Flows All Night and Brunch Is Actually Good," 7 Mar. 2019 Bhakti, or devotion, is a spiritual path that uses music, dance, poetry, literature and such rituals as bathing, dressing and garlanding statues believed to house deities. Lee Lawrence, WSJ, "‘Seeing the Divine: Pahari Painting of North India’ Review: Multifaceted Devotion," 16 Feb. 2019 Instead of toasts and dances, the moments I’ll remember could never have been planned. Phoebe Lapine, Marie Claire, "How to Marry a Guy in Five Days," 18 Jan. 2019 Move It Fridays Every Friday: Play for better health yoga, balance, dance, tumbling and more for toddlers. 11:30 a.m.-noon. Mary Lou Cruz, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Davie area events July 18-28," 14 July 2018 Dancing Under the Stars Jack London Square presents its annual dance series offering lessons in various styles followed by a chance to try out your new moves. SFChronicle.com, "Events listings," 12 July 2018 People in the back seat also sing, dance (sort of), and, in at least one instance, weep. Mark Feeney, BostonGlobe.com, "‘The King’ takes Elvis’s Rolls-Royce for a ride," 11 July 2018 The trend continued throughout the aughts, expanding to include more rap and dance, by artists such as Nelly, 50 Cent and Soulja Boy. Charles Stockdale, USA TODAY, "The most popular song from the year you were born," 9 July 2018 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

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

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