Definition of “dance” - English Dictionary

“dance” in English

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uk /dɑːns/ us /dæns/

A1 [ I or T ] to move the body and feet to music:

We danced all night.
We went dancing at a club.
What kind of music do you like dancing to?
Who was she dancing with at the party last night?
Can you dance the tango?
We played our music and danced the night away.

[ I ] literary to move quickly and lightly:

The daffodils were dancing in the breeze.
She watched the sunlight dancing on the water.

More examples

  • He was too shy to ask her to dance with him.
  • The lights and loud music in the club made her want to dance.
  • He dances well for a man of his years.
  • They danced to the beat of the drums.
  • Come on, why aren't you dancing? Enjoy yourselves!


uk /dɑːns/ us /dæns/

B1 [ C ] a particular series of movements that you perform to music or the type of music that is connected with it:

The band played a slow dance.

A2 [ C ] a social occasion where people dance, especially a formal occasion in a large room:

They're having an end-of-term dinner-dance.

A1 [ C or U ] the act of moving your feet and body to music:

UK We had a dance.
The bride's father gets the first dance at the wedding.
a dance class

A2 [ U ] the art of performing dances, especially as a form of entertainment:

The performers tell the story through song and dance.

More examples

(Definition of “dance” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“dance” in American English

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danceverb [ I/T ]

us /dæns/

to move the body and feet in rhythm to music:

[ I ] Who was she dancing with at the party?
[ T ] They danced a waltz.

If something dances, it moves quickly and easily:

[ I ] Sunlight danced on the water.

dancenoun [ C/U ]

us /dæns/

an act of dancing, or a particular set of movements:

[ C ] “May I have this dance?” he asked.
[ C ] The next dance will be a waltz.
[ U ] Do you take dance lessons?

A dance is also a social occasion at which people dance:

[ C ] the eighth-grade dance

(Definition of “dance” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)