terp·​si·​cho·​re·​an ˌtərp-(ˌ)si-kə-ˈrē-ən How to pronounce terpsichorean (audio)
: 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.

Examples of terpsichorean in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Gary, our friend Mark Foehringer’s husband, was the only other non-dancer in the terpsichorean crowd my husband, Brian, hung out with. Kevin Fisher-Paulson, San Francisco Chronicle, 18 Apr. 2023 That concept — the tailoring of terpsichorean energy to a specific location — is central to the dance-film series, which Washington Performing Arts created this fall by commissioning local dancer-choreographers to devise, and perform, dances customized for the spaces at six area businesses. Washington Post, 19 Dec. 2020 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'terpsichorean.' 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

1825, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of terpsichorean was in 1825


Dictionary Entries Near terpsichorean

Cite this Entry

“Terpsichorean.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terpsichorean. Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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