Definition of courbette in English:



  • (in classical riding) a movement in which the horse performs a series of jumps on the hind legs without the forelegs touching the ground.

    • ‘The horses performed caprioles, courbettes, and levades in hand.’
    • ‘In different occasions they had shows where the horses performed courbettes on a volte or in a cross, capriols were performed and many more complicated movements were involved.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He has gone from being at death's door to doing courbettes out in the pasture!’
    • ‘They then graduate to the ‘aerial exercises’, with pesades, levades, courbettes and caprioles.’


Mid 17th century: French, from Italian corvetta little curve, based on Latin curvus curved.