Word of the Day : December 16, 2017

terpsichorean

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adjective terp-sih-kuh-REE-un

Definition

: 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

"Cronkhite's exuberant dances look great but let the kids act like kids, and don't demand terpsichorean polish beyond the cast's abilities." — Marty Clear, The Bradenton Herald, 13 Jan. 2017

"The musical theater specialists at Signature Theatre will test their terpsichorean mettle with the toe-tappin' 'Crazy for You,' the show that clinched Susan Stroman's reputation as a gleeful and inventive choreographer...." — Nelson Pressley, The Washington Post, 8 Sept. 2017



Word Family Quiz

What word derived from Greek choros refers to an old round dance with singing or to a song of joy?

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