Definition of cotillion in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /kəˈtilyən/


1An 18th-century French dance based on the contredanse.
Example sentences
  • She brushed off his request to dance the second cotillion with him, using the graceful, courteous snubbery he had spent so long teaching her.
  • They danced the first cotillion mechanically.
  • The group continued to talk until Tony led Christina out onto the floor to dance a cotillion.
1.1US A quadrille.
2US A formal ball, especially one at which debutantes are presented.
Example sentences
  • The Knights' social functions - formal dinners, balls, and cotillions - also reflected members' aspirations toward middle-class refinement.
  • The old Society page, with its news of old-family weddings, cotillions, and charity balls, began everywhere to be replaced in newspapers by the Style page, a very different thing.
  • I've never been much for balls and cotillions though I have to attend them endlessly.


Early 18th century: from French cotillon, literally 'petticoat dance', diminutive of cotte, from Old French cote.

Words that rhyme with cotillion

Abbevillian, Azilian, Brazilian, caecilian, Castilian, Chilean, Churchillian, civilian, crocodilian, epyllion, Gillian, Lilian, Maximilian, Pamphylian, pavilion, postilion, Quintilian, reptilian, Sicilian, Tamilian, vaudevillian, vermilion, Virgilian

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: co·til·lion

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.