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also con·tre·dance or con·tra·dance or con·tra·danse  (kŏn′trə-dăns′)
1. A folk dance performed in two lines with the partners facing each other.
2. The music for this dance.

[French, alteration (influenced by contre-, opposite) of English country-dance.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈkɒntrəˌdɑːns) or


1. (Dancing) a courtly Continental version of the English country dance, similar to the quadrille
2. (Music, other) music written for or in the rhythm of this dance
[C19: from French, changed from English country dance; country altered to French contre (opposite) by folk etymology (because the dancers face each other)]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈkɒn trəˌdæns, -ˌdɑns; Fr. kɔ̃ˈtrədɑ̃s) ,

n., pl. -dans•es (-ˌdæn sɪz, -ˌdɑn-; Fr. -ˈdɑ̃s)
1. a quadrille in which the dancers face each other.
2. music for such a dance.
[1795–1805; < French, =contre- counter- + danse dance, misrendering of E country -dance, by association with the characteristic arrangement of dancers in rows facing each other]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.contredanse - a type of folk dance in which couples are arranged in sets or face one another in a linecontredanse - a type of folk dance in which couples are arranged in sets or face one another in a line
folk dance, folk dancing - a style of dancing that originated among ordinary people (not in the royal courts)
longways, longways dance - country dancing performed with couples in two long lines facing each other
square dance, square dancing - American country dancing in which couples form squares
do-si-do - a square-dance figure; two dancers approach each other and circle back to back before returning to their original places
promenade - a square dance figure; couples march counterclockwise in a circle
sashay - a square dance figure; partners circle each other taking sideways steps
swing - a square dance figure; a pair of dancers join hands and dance around a point between them
landler - a moderately slow Austrian country dance in triple time; involves spinning and clapping
Verb1.contredanse - perform a contradance
trip the light fantastic, trip the light fantastic toe, dance - move in a pattern; usually to musical accompaniment; do or perform a dance; "My husband and I like to dance at home to the radio"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Contradanse is a horse for next season and will learn so much from today without winning.
In these places you may find a very rare tune with asymmetrical phrases, perhaps in New England where a specific contradanse tune might have been crafted to fit a particular dance, or maybe in Ireland where competition set-dances require a certain phrase structure.