Definition of cotillion in English:


Line breaks: co¦til|lion
Pronunciation: /kəˈtɪljən


  • 1An elaborate 18th-century French dance based on the contredanse.
    More 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.
    More 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.

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