tap dance


: a step dance tapped out audibly by means of shoes with hard soles or soles and heels to which taps have been added
: something suggesting a tap dance
especially : an action or discourse intended to rationalize or distract
does a clever tap dance to explain Campbell Geeslin
tap-dance intransitive verb
tap dancer noun
tap dancing noun

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Ferrell spoke to The Times in November about learning to tap dance for that scene. Los Angeles Times, 22 Dec. 2022 The 27th in-person festival — the first one held since before the pandemic — will feature dance companies from all 12 of the county’s public high schools performing a variety of genres, from modern and ballet to hip hop and tap dance. Ethan Ehrenhaft, Baltimore Sun, 21 Jan. 2023 As the curtain was rising, the cast was already breaking into a wild, long, frenetic and fantastic tap dance. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 25 Dec. 2022 No, Kidman doesn’t have much in the way of experience dealing with a live television audience or in performing the kind of tap dance necessary to keep a four-hour ceremony hopping. Joe Reid, Vulture, 13 Jan. 2022 This tap dance-heavy musical comedy, which debuted in 1935 and had a Tony-winning 1987 revival, is a love story and comedy set aboard an ocean liner crossing the Atlantic. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Nov. 2022 Already, many banks that boast of their ESG credentials are engaged in an awkward tap dance, playing up their oil and gas holdings in correspondence with red-state officials. Erika Fry, Fortune, 28 Sep. 2022 How many people in this world can say Bill Robinson taught them how to tap dance? Susan Orlean, The New Yorker, 28 Sep. 2022 The Academy Museum hosted an event Wednesday night in celebration of the exhibit’s opening, with a special tap dance performance by the Nicholas Brothers’ granddaughters, Cathie and Nicole (aka the Nicholas Sisters). Michaela Zee, Variety, 18 Aug. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tap 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

1928, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tap dance was in 1928

Dictionary Entries Near tap dance

Cite this Entry

“Tap dance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tap%20dance. Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition

tap dance

: a dance tapped out loudly by means of shoes to which taps have been added
tap-dance verb
tap dancer noun
tap dancing noun

More from Merriam-Webster on tap dance

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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