terpsichorean

adjective

terp·​si·​cho·​re·​an ˌtərp-(ˌ)si-kə-ˈrē-ən How to pronounce terpsichorean (audio)
-sə-ˈkȯr-ē-
: of or relating to dancing

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 (in Athenian drama, choruses 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 around 1816 but never really caught on.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web That’s the sentiment adding a jolt of urgency to the 19th annual Bay Area Dance Week, the vast open-door celebration of all things terpsichorean that runs from April 21-30 in studios, theaters, and classrooms around the region. Andrew Gilbert, The Mercury News, 11 Apr. 2017

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

Word History

First Known Use

1825, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of terpsichorean was in 1825

Podcast

Dictionary Entries Near terpsichorean

Cite this Entry

“Terpsichorean.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terpsichorean. Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

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.
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY