One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A movement performed in classical riding, in which the horse leaps from the ground and kicks out with its hind legs.
- ‘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.’
- ‘After a series of caprioles in response to more clapping, the announcer asked the crowd to hold their applause while Chris rode the horse with only the single lead from the nose ring of a Spanish exhibition halter.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘There's this one, the capriole, where the horse jumps up and snaps his hind legs out.’
- ‘It comes ‘in curvets and caprioles, with the flashing of glutted fish-runs’, and so on for a page of equally shimmery and restive fine-tuning.’
- 1.1 A leap or caper in dancing, especially a cabriole.
skip, dance, romp, jig, frisk, gambol, cavort, prance, frolic, leap, hop, jump, bound, springView synonyms
- ‘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.’
- ‘Seyffert, too, hung on a rope, flung from the dome, was hurled up again and again thereby performed the most stunning caprioles.’
- ‘They were not acted to the accompaniment of mere commonplace gestures like a play, nor danced in imitative caprioles like a ballet.’
Late 16th century: from obsolete French (now cabriole), from Italian capriola ‘leap’, from capriolo ‘roebuck’, from Latin capreolus, diminutive of caper, capr- ‘goat’.
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