v. danced, danc·ing, danc·es
1. To move rhythmically usually to music, using prescribed or improvised steps and gestures.
2. Zoology To perform a specialized set of movements to communicate chiefly with other members of the same species.
a. To move or leap about excitedly.
b. To bob up and down or move about rapidly: The leaves danced in the wind.
c. To appear to flash or twinkle: eyes that danced with merriment.
4. Informal To speak or behave in an evasive or vacillating manner: danced around the issue.
1. To engage in or perform (a dance).
2. To lead (someone) in a dance.
3. To cause to move up and down quickly or lightly: danced the child on her knee.
a. A series of motions and steps, such as the waltz or tango, usually performed to music.
b. The act or an instance of dancing: May I have this dance?
c. The music composed or played for a certain kind of dance or for a particular dance.
d. The art of dancing: studied dance in college.
2. A party or gathering of people for dancing.
3. Zoology An act of communication by dancing: a peacock's courtship dance.
dance attendance on
To attend to or try to please (someone) with eagerness or obsequiousness.
[Middle English dauncen, from Old French danser, perhaps of Germanic origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.