Definition of polka in English:


Line breaks: polka
Pronunciation: /ˈpɒlkə
, ˈpəʊlkə


  • 1A lively dance of Bohemian origin in duple time: they finished off by dancing the polka polkas are danced to sprightly music in 2/4 time
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    • She notified her parents of her well-being, justified her expenditures and asked for more money, and kept her friends and family entertained with the details of Paris festivals and dancing the polka.
    • Traditional dances such as the krakowiak, oberek, mazur, and the zbo'jnicki will be enjoyed at such occasions, as well as the polka, a popular dance.
    • It was his flatmate who eventually roused them, crashing in through the front door exhorting the flat to come and see him dance the polka.
  • 1.1A piece of music for the polka: a local oompah band played waltzes and polkas
    More example sentences
    • Welser-Möst's biggest surprise was to devote half a program to a suite of Johann Strauss waltzes and polkas, fare usually reserved for New Year's Eve or other light-hearted occasions.
    • Martial music, a polka, a fantasy on Verdi's ‘Jerusalem’, even variations on the Portuguese national anthem, make this multi-faceted offering a continuing surprise.
    • As the minstrel show emerged, American publishers sought to attract amateur musicians and provided a flow of spirituals, gospel songs, polkas, and Schottisches, as well as innumerable sentimental ballads and salon pieces.

verb (polkas, polkaing, polkaed /-kəd/ or polka'd /-kəɪŋ/)

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  • Dance the polka: a man and wife polkaing are easy to spot
    More example sentences
    • Nobody knew that, and we weren't supposed to tell anybody, but she would come up, let him hold her glasses, and he'd start polkaing with her.
    • Several of the men let out whoops of merriment and two stood and began to polka around the fire with each other, causing laughs and jeers from the others.
    • They tried to polka, and I educated them throughout the whole set as to who wrote the songs.


mid 19th century: via French and German from Czech půlka 'half-step', from půl 'half'.

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