noun, often attributive
dres·​sage | \ drə-ˈsäzh How to pronounce dressage (audio) , dre- \

Definition of dressage

: the execution by a trained horse of precision movements in response to barely perceptible signals from its rider

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Did You Know?

This is a sport involving the execution of precise movements by a trained horse in response to barely perceptible signals from its rider. The word dressage means “training” in French. Particularly important are the animal’s pace and bearing in performing walks, trots, canters, and more specialized maneuvers. Training is divided into the elementary campagne and the advanced haute école. Dressage competitions have been included in the Olympic Games since 1912. Riders compete as individuals and in teams.

Examples of dressage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In Ohio, the trainer focuses on English disciplines, such as performing dressage or being jumping horses. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, The Indianapolis Star, "The incredible Indiana farm giving retired racehorses new careers, saving some from slaughter," 4 Nov. 2020 Unlike glassblowing or dressage, making bread is a hobby that requires little in terms of initial investment. Mackenzie Chung Fegan, Bon Appétit, "These Are the Tools You Need to Make Better Bread," 28 Oct. 2020 At least 50 Bowman thoroughbreds have come through Keacher’s stable, finding new work as hunter/jumpers, dressage and eventing horses and polo ponies. Star Tribune, "‘He loves the ones no one else wants’," 16 Sep. 2020 The advanced horses show the top levels of dressage riding, including the passage, an elevated trot while moving forward with a pause in the air. Sheryl Devore, chicagotribune.com, "Tempel Lipizzan tours offer a peek behind the training curtain," 25 Aug. 2020 The equestrian facilities include two large fenced pastures, seven paddocks of various sizes, riding trails, a riding ring, cross country schooling course and a dressage ring. John-john Williams Iv, baltimoresun.com, "Hot property: Stately equestrian farm in Edgewater by the Chesapeake Bay," 14 Aug. 2020 The one-night event, held at the Deeridge Farms in Wellington, attracted elite polo players, show jumpers and dressage riders who competed head-to-head while switching their sports of expertise. Gary Curreri, sun-sentinel.com, "Equestrian triathlon nets nearly $200K for Boys & Girls Club," 7 Aug. 2020 The horse show includes three phases: dressage, show jumping and cross country. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, "Hale Farm offers safe, entertaining glimpse into the past: Talk of the Towns," 6 Aug. 2020 Venues that can host surfing, sailing, equestrian dressage and track cycling? Andrew Keh, New York Times, "Grappling With Coronavirus, Tokyo Olympic Leaders Have No Good Options," 26 Feb. 2020

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

1912, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dressage

French, from dresser to train, drill, from Middle French

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Time Traveler for dressage

Time Traveler

The first known use of dressage was in 1912

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Statistics for dressage

Cite this Entry

“Dressage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dressage. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for dressage


How to pronounce dressage (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dressage

: a competition in which horses perform special movements in response to signals from their riders

More from Merriam-Webster on dressage

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dressage

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