quadrille

noun
qua·​drille | \ kwä-ˈdril How to pronounce quadrille (audio) , kwə-, kə- \

Definition of quadrille

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a four-handed variant of ombre popular especially in the 18th century
2 : a square dance for four couples made up of five or six figures chiefly in ⁶/₈ and ²/₄ time also : music for this dance

quadrille

adjective

Definition of quadrille (Entry 2 of 2)

: marked with squares or rectangles

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

The quadrille, named for its four couples that form the sides of a square, seems to have begun as a French country dance. In the 18th century it became fashionable among the French nobility; as performed by elegantly dressed aristocrats, it became slow and formal. It crossed over to England and from there to New England, where it turned back into a dance for the common people. It soon evolved into the American square dance, a lively type of dance that employs a "caller" to make sure everyone remembers the steps.

Examples of quadrille in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Mary, on the other hand, famously danced a quadrille at his first inauguration — with Sen. Stephen Douglas, her former boyfriend and the man Lincoln had defeated for the presidency. Washington Post, 21 Jan. 2021 On the dance floor, guests ingest opium with lolling tongues, then variously pop their booties and walk a quadrille. Troy Patterson, The New Yorker, 31 Oct. 2019 After a pre-ball dance lesson, Bangers & Mash waltzes, polkas, mixers, quadrilles, country & contra dances, and other popular 19th-century couple and set dances. Lisa Herendeen, The Mercury News, 25 Aug. 2019 The dance is a traditional mid-19th century dance featuring contras (reels), quadrilles (squares) and novelty (circle) dances that were once common. Joy Davis, Aurora Beacon-News, 6 July 2017 Every weekday at noon, in a ritual as formalized as a quadrille, Page Six names descended on what was now being called the Grill Room, took a seat at their customary table and dined — abstemiously. William Grimes, New York Times, 8 July 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quadrille.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of quadrille

Noun

1726, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1856, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for quadrille

Noun

French, group of knights engaged in a carousel, from Spanish cuadrilla troop, from diminutive of cuadra square, from Latin quadra, quadrum

Adjective

French quadrillé

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about quadrille

Time Traveler for quadrille

Time Traveler

The first known use of quadrille was in 1726

See more words from the same year

Statistics for quadrille

Cite this Entry

“Quadrille.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quadrille. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for quadrille

quadrille

noun

English Language Learners Definition of quadrille

: a dance for four couples who each form one side of a square

More from Merriam-Webster on quadrille

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about quadrille

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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