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also co·til·lon  (kō-tĭl′yən, kə-)
1. A formal ball, especially one at which young women are presented to society.
a. A lively dance, originating in France in the 18th century, having varied, intricate patterns and steps.
b. A quadrille.
c. The music for these dances.

[French cotillon, from Old French, petticoat, diminutive of cote, coat; see coat.]
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.


(kəˈtɪljən; kəʊ-) or


1. (Dancing) a French formation dance of the 18th century
2. (Dancing) US a quadrille
3. (Dancing) US a complicated dance with frequent changes of partners
4. US and Canadian a formal ball, esp one at which debutantes are presented
[C18: from French cotillon dance, from Old French: petticoat, from cote coat]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(kəˈtɪl yən, koʊ-)

1. a formal ball given esp. for debutantes.
2. any of various dances resembling the quadrille.
3. a formalized dance for a large number of people, in which a head couple leads the others through elaborate figures.
[1760–70; < French cotillon kind of dance, in Old French: petticoat =cote coat + -illon diminutive suffix]
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.cotillion - a ball at which young ladies are presented to societycotillion - a ball at which young ladies are presented to society
formal, ball - a lavish dance requiring formal attire
2.cotillion - a lively dance originating in France in the 18th century
ballroom dance, ballroom dancing - any of a variety of social dances performed by couples in a ballroom
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
In the middle of the cotillion, having completed one of the figures, Natasha, still out of breath, was returning to her seat when another dancer chose her.
When the cotillion was over the old count in his blue coat came up to the dancers.
For one of the merry cotillions before supper Prince Andrew was again her partner.
"Nonsense, Anna Arkadyevna," said Korsunsky, drawing her bare arm under the sleeve of his dress coat, "I've such an idea for a cotillion! Un bijou!"
Look,' sez I, 'at the disgrace he brings upon a high-toned, fash'nable girl, at whose side he's walked and danced, and passed rings, and sentiments, and bokays in the changes o' the cotillion and the mizzourka.
The set in which they found themselves was composed of English, and Amy was compelled to walk decorously through a cotillion, feeling all the while as if she could dance the tarantella with relish.
These decorations proved her popularity in very much the same way as do the cotillion favors hanging on the bedroom walls of the fashionable belle.
No wonder, therefore, that her faculties were bewildered by the complex movements of the cotillion: and, in short, as the good lady daily contemplated the improvements of the female youth around her, she became each hour more convinced of her own inability to control, or in any manner to superintend, the education of her orphan niece.
The cotillions were over, the country-dancing beginning, and she saw nothing of the Tilneys.
So he began to prate to Miss Marian of clubs, of teas, of golf and riding and kennels and cotillions and tours abroad and threw out hints of a yacht lying at Larchmont.
Heartland spokesman Jim Lakely said there will be room for about 500 guests at Cotillion Banquets in Palatine.
After the opening prayer, led by Caitlin's grandma Janet Ynson Yap, there was the Cotillion de Honor, with the wonderful debutante escorted by Leonardo Maniero.