Dance (?), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Danced (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Dancing.] [F. danser, fr. OHG. dansn to draw; akin to dinsan to draw, Goth. apinsan, and prob. from the same root (meaning to stretch) as E. thin. See Thin.]


To move with measured steps, or to a musical accompaniment; to go through, either alone or in company with others, with a regulated succession of movements, (commonly) to the sound of music; to trip or leap rhythmically.

Jack shall pipe and Gill shall dance. Wiher.

Good shepherd, what fair swain is this Which dances with your dauther? Shak.


To move nimbly or merrily; to express pleasure by motion; to caper; to frisk; to skip about.

Then, 'tis time to dance off. Thackeray.

More dances my rapt heart Than when I first my wedded mistress saw. Shak.

Shadows in the glassy waters dance. Byron.

Where rivulets dance their wayward round. Wordsworth.

To dance on a rope, or To dance on nothing, to be hanged.


© Webster 1913.

Dance (?), v. t.

To cause to dance, or move nimbly or merrily about, or up and down; to dandle.

To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind. Shak.

Thy grandsire loved thee well; Many a time he danced thee on his knee. Shak.

To dance attendance, to come and go obsequiously; to be or remain in waiting, at the beck and call of another, with a view to please or gain favor.

A man of his place, and so near our favor, To dance attendance on their lordships' pleasure. Shak.


© Webster 1913.

Dance, n. [F. danse, of German origin. See Dance, v. i.]


The leaping, tripping, or measured stepping of one who dances; an amusement, in which the movements of the persons are regulated by art, in figures and in accord with music.

2. Mus.

A tune by which dancing is regulated, as the minuet, the waltz, the cotillon, etc.

The word dance was used ironically, by the older writers, of many proceedings besides dancing.

Of remedies of love she knew parchance For of that art she couth the olde dance. Chaucer.

Dance of Death Art, an allegorical representation of the power of death over all, -- the old, the young, the high, and the low, being led by a dancing skeleton. -- Morris dance. See Morris. -- To lead one a dance, to cause one to go through a series of movements or experiences as if guided by a partner in a dance not understood.


© Webster 1913.