Definition of terpsichorean
: of or relating to dancing
terpsichorean was our Word of the Day on 04/15/2011. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
In Greek and Roman mythology, Terpsichore was one of the nine muses, those graceful sister-goddesses who presided over learning and the arts. Terpsichore was the patron of dance and choral song (and later lyric poetry), and in artistic representations she is often shown dancing and holding a lyre. Her name, which earned an enduring place in English through the adjective "terpsichorean," literally means "dance-enjoying," from terpsis, meaning "enjoyment," and choros, meaning "dance." "Choros" is also the source of "choreography" and "chorus" (those "choruses" in Athenian drama consisted of dancers as well as singers). The only other word we know that incorporates "terpsis" is "terpodion," an obsolete term for a piano-like musical instrument that was invented in 1816 but never really caught on.
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