pas de deux

noun
\ ˌpä-də-ˈdər How to pronounce pas de deux (audio) , -ˈdə, -ˈdü How to pronounce pas de deux (audio) \
plural pas de deux\ ˌpä-​də-​ˈdər(z) How to pronounce pas de deux (audio) , -​ˈdə(z) , -​ˈdü(z) \

Definition of pas de deux

1 : a dance or figure for two performers
2 : an intricate relationship or activity involving two parties or things

Examples of pas de deux in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

To the music written as the coda of Tchaikovsky’s pas de deux (featuring a soft-shoe-wearing Young Drosselmeier and a barefoot Marie), Mr. Morris floods his stage with 12 pairs of subsidiary characters—toys, rats, snowflakes, flowers, party guests. Robert Greskovic, WSJ, "‘The Hard Nut’ Review: A Refreshed Christmas Classic," 17 Dec. 2018 Kokoschka uses the closing-time warning at British pubs as the title for a morbid pas de deux between Father Time and a naked figure suggestive of the artist himself. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "A Painter of Ethereal Roughness," 7 Dec. 2018 Étoile dancers are featured in the clip preforming a series of pas de deux from the up-and-coming ballet. Cara Zimmerman, Harper's BAZAAR, "Watch and Dream: Balmain Dresses the Opéra de Paris Dancers," 12 June 2017 All of this can make for a complicated pas de deux between politicians and the university. New York Times, "Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf Scientist?," 5 July 2018 Also, the piece begins with a pair of seven-foot-tall hands engaged in a friendly pas de deux, so ordinary clapping seems inadequate. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "Review: Mummenschanz Offers Wonder, and a Grumpy Trash Bag," 10 July 2018 The third section featured a complex pas de deux for Brian Simcoe and Xuan Cheng, another gorgeous ballerina with a steely body. Laura Bleiberg, latimes.com, "Barak Ballet at the Broad Stage: New moves for a company on the verge," 1 July 2018 Diamonds is all things Russian and opulent, from the Tchaikovsky score to the lush pas de deux and promenade that recalls other white ballets: Swan Lake, Les Sylphides, the snow scene in Nutcracker. Ellen Dunkel, Philly.com, "Pennsylvania Ballet's 'Jewels' shines at the Academy of Music," 11 May 2018 Leading up to the ballet’s grand pas de deux, Kitri and Basilio, a poor barber who is Kitri’s one true love, marry when Basilio fakes his death. Lauren Warnecke, chicagotribune.com, "Ballet Nacional de Cuba's 'Don Quixote' is unapologetically unrefreshed — and the dancing is glorious," 19 May 2018

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

circa 1762, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pas de deux

French, literally, step for two

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Last Updated

3 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for pas de deux

The first known use of pas de deux was circa 1762

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