Share this entry
capriole Syllabification: cap·ri·ole
Pronunciation: /ˈkaprēˌōl/

Definition of capriole in English:


1A movement performed in classical riding, in which the horse leaps from the ground and kicks out with its hind legs.
Example sentences
  • There's this one, the capriole, where the horse jumps up and snaps his hind legs out.
  • Not knowing a pesade from a pirouette or a courbette from a capriole, I was seduced by the riders' dashing livery of black boots, white tights, brown dress coat and gilded bicorn hat, and the ambiance of aristocratic Vienna.
  • The haute école of classical equitation includes movements with direct military application, like the capriole which was originally intended to enable a horseman to use his steed to kick an attacker approaching from behind.
1.1A leap or caper in dancing, especially a cabriole.
Example sentences
  • It sometimes had goats' feet, and the word itself means ‘the leap of the goat’ - a meaning it still retains in ballet in the leap called the capriole.
  • They were not acted to the accompaniment of mere commonplace gestures like a play, nor danced in imitative caprioles like a ballet.
  • Seyffert, too, hung on a rope, flung from the dome, was hurled up again and again thereby performed the most stunning caprioles.


Late 16th century: from obsolete French (now cabriole), from Italian capriola 'leap', from capriolo 'roebuck', from Latin capreolus, diminutive of caper, capr- 'goat'.

Definition of capriole in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources