Definition of pirouette in English:


Line breaks: pirou|ette
Pronunciation: /ˌpɪrʊˈɛt


chiefly Ballet
1An act of spinning on one foot, typically with the raised foot touching the knee of the supporting leg.
More example sentences
  • By the end of that week, I could consistently execute quadruple pirouettes to both right and left.
  • In classical ballet pirouettes are executed on pointe, as are arabesques.
  • Laurie, in her ecstatic state, executed a pirouette, and began to sing in earnest.
1.1A movement performed in advanced dressage and classical riding, in which the horse makes a circle by pivoting on a hind leg, while cantering.
More example sentences
  • The horse needs sufficient impulsion for the work that is being asked of him, i.e. cantering a 20 metre circle requires much less impulsion than performing a canter pirouette.
  • They got a bit bogged down near the end of the performance during a final pirouette in piaffe, but overall featured a strong technique.
  • The trainer, unfazed by Dansk's apparent aggression, manages to persuade the animal to kneel, walks on its backside and performs pirouettes.


[no object] Back to top  
Perform a pirouette: she pirouetted and made a bow
More example sentences
  • She twirled and pirouetted with her arms outstretched to catch the gliding snowflakes.
  • The tenor saxophonist wore his baseball hat backwards as he pirouetted and moonwalked across the front of the stage.
  • Laughing like a child, Noel made the boxers dance, pirouetting lightly across the carpet.


mid 17th century: from French, literally 'spinning top', of unknown ultimate origin.

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