tar·​an·​tel·​la ˌter-ən-ˈte-lə How to pronounce tarantella (audio)
: a lively folk dance of southern Italy in ⁶/₈ time

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web In the finale, the musicians whipped up plenty of excitement, but also exuded comic cheer in the tarantella, a folksy dance from southern Italy. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, 24 Sep. 2021 The shop offers sacred figures as well as ones inspired by local culture, such as a dancer doing the pizzica (Lecce’s version of the tarantella). Alexander Pohl, National Geographic, 4 Nov. 2019 After match point against Wozniacki, as Sergio did a tarantella in the stands, Camila stood beaming on the court. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, 10 Jan. 2014 Mozart’s concerto remains aurally aloof from such politics; even the seemingly Sicilian-appropriate tarantella-like rhythms of the finale are, in all likelihood, coincidental. Matthew Guerrieri, BostonGlobe.com, 28 June 2018 Around him, the kitchen was a tarantella of activity: four cooks grilled rack of lamb, another rinsed lettuce and yet another arranged grilled vegetables on a platter. Mark Landler, New York Times, 24 Apr. 2018 Joseph Society Pre-Parade Party was in full swing Italian flags flew while young ladies -- maids -- danced the tarantella accompanied with music sung by Lena Prima and society President Peter Gilberti. Sue Strachan, NOLA.com, 6 Mar. 2018 A small sampling of those that, with profound regret, had to be left by the wayside, may indicate the scale and manic scope of this tarantella of travel writing: A former cult member tries to bicycle around the world. Simon Winchester, New York Times, 1 June 2016 Just last week, One Direction star turned solo adventurer Harry Styles teased some new music and the world danced a mad and gleeful tarantella. Richard Lawson, Vanities, 6 Apr. 2017 See More

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

Word History


Italian, from Taranto, Italy

First Known Use

1782, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tarantella was in 1782

Dictionary Entries Near tarantella

Cite this Entry

“Tarantella.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tarantella. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

More from Merriam-Webster on tarantella

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.