song and dance


: a theatrical performance (such as a vaudeville performance) combining singing and dancing
: a long and often familiar statement or explanation that is usually not true or pertinent

Examples of song and dance in a Sentence

instead of simply denying our request, the mayor's representative gave us a song and dance about legal issues and municipal liability
Recent Examples on the Web My sense is … this is a lot of song and dance that covers the fact that actually nothing is advancing. Brian Fung, CNN, 13 Sep. 2023 Celebrations on Saturday were packed with dedications of floral baskets to past leaders, banquets, concerts for a visiting Chinese delegation, and a performance by Russian army song and dance ensemble, KCNA news agency reported on Sunday. Reuters, NBC News, 10 Sep. 2023 Indian cinema-goers flocked to see Bollywood stars performing song and dance routines against a backdrop of the Sydney Opera House, the Twelve Apostles and other iconic landmarks, in a whole host of Indian movies filmed in the years that followed. Lianne Kolirin, CNN, 19 Aug. 2023 Plus, if the hope is to keep the Oscars ratings from sinking, a song and dance number from Ryan Gosling is as good a bet as any. Brendan Morrow, The Week, 1 Aug. 2023 Orfeu, a talented musician (his singing voice was dubbed by Brazilian singer Agostinho dos Santos), is surrounded by the vibrant sounds of his favela and often breaks out into a bossa nova song and dance. Los Angeles Times, 15 Aug. 2023 The 2023 edition was hosted for the second year running by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu, who showed off his song and dance skills, which included performing a backflip and a medley of Lavigne hits. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Mar. 2023 Others criticized the show for transforming the misfortunes of shtetl life into the language of song and dance. Nelson Pressley, Washington Post, 23 June 2023 After last year’s Oscars, which had stripped some categories from being handed out in the live telecast, the academy restored all awards to the show and leaned on traditional song and dance numbers. Jake Coyle, Fortune, 13 Mar. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1613, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of song and dance was in 1613

Dictionary Entries Near song and dance

Cite this Entry

“Song and dance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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