pa·​vane pə-ˈvän How to pronounce pavane (audio) -ˈvan How to pronounce pavane (audio)
variants or less commonly pavan
pə-ˈvän How to pronounce pavane (audio)
: a stately court dance by couples that was introduced from southern Europe into England in the 16th century
: music for the pavane
also : music having the slow duple rhythm of a pavane

Examples of pavane in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Still, there is that perfectly shaped pearl of a pavane that, throughout it all, stays in the memory. Los Angeles Times, 9 Jan. 2022 The second movement, processional and severe, is a pavane, not a dirge; this music needs motion, and Bach Collegium imbued this most famous of the symphony’s movements with a sense of solemn dance lost at a slower tempo. Luke Schulze, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 May 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pavane.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle French pavane, from Italian dialect pavana, from feminine of pavano of Padua, from Pava (Tuscan Padova) Padua

First Known Use

circa 1510, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pavane was circa 1510

Dictionary Entries Near pavane

Cite this Entry

“Pavane.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on pavane

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!