Definition of caracole in English:



  • A half turn to the right or left by a horse.

    • ‘The most common tactic used was the caracole - a combined cavalry charge assisted by firearms.’
    • ‘By 1700 the caracole, initially so fashionable, was obsolete and the cavalryman's pistol was reserved for the mêlée or as just another item in the horse soldier's armoury.’


  • no object, with adverbial of direction (of a horse) perform a caracole.

    ‘he danced sideways and then caracoled round the corner of the stables’
    • ‘This Hadji Murad was Shamil's naib, famous for his exploits, who used never to ride out without his banner and some dozens of murids, who caracoled and showed off before him.’
    • ‘But she and the others walked past the German parade ground, where, in the war, the horses had caracoled every day, and turned onto Lange Reihe.’
    • ‘The young men on horseback caracoled about the carriages, as they did at Longchamps, for Longchamps was already in existence and even very brilliant.’
    • ‘Horses went on racks, danced, caracoled, and, completely submitting to instructions of the equestrians, carried out various acrobatic numbers.’
    • ‘The thews in his hindquarters strained and bulged as the knight caracoled on his rear legs.’


Early 17th century: from French caracole, caracol ‘snail's shell, spiral’.