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1historical Any of various choreographed dances, or dance sequences, performed either at a social gathering or on the stage, often to a specific piece of music. Compare "dance". Now chiefly historical.
2A piece of music intended for dancing, or composed in a dance rhythm.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Hermeticall Banquet. From Italian ballo dance, act of dancing, piece of music intended for dancing or composed to a dance rhythm from ballare to dance.
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From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, discover surprising and intriguing language facts from around the globe.
The definitions of ‘buddy’ and ‘bro’ in the OED have recently been revised. We explore their history and increase in popularity.