terp·​si·​cho·​re·​an | \ ˌtərp-(ˌ)si-kə-ˈrē-ən How to pronounce terpsichorean (audio) , -sə-ˈkȯr-ē-\

Definition of terpsichorean

: of or relating to dancing

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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.

Examples of terpsichorean in a Sentence

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, "Bay Area Dance Week: Highlights, and what you need to know," 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.

First Known Use of terpsichorean

1825, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of terpsichorean was in 1825

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concealment of treason or felony

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