Definition of gavotte in English:



  • 1A medium-paced French dance, popular in the 18th century.

    • ‘Meanwhile, away from the pain and hurt of individuals, the medical debate continues its stately gavotte - and its occasional less than stately spat - in the journals and conferences.’
    • ‘Kent is oblivious to the fact that he couldn't possibly fit into this rarefied social environment, where the Social Dance is as complex as a gavotte.’
    • ‘Before the mid-17th century a gavotte usually followed a series of branles, a dance to which it was closely related, and was performed in a line or circle.’
    • ‘A group of dancers in period costumes will recreate baroque dances including a minuet and a gavotte.’
    • ‘Despite the fact that her head was beginning to pound horridly, she determinedly held her head high and slowly danced the gavotte perfectly without letting the book fall.’
    1. 1.1 A piece of music accompanying or in the rhythm of a gavotte, composed in common time beginning on the third beat of the bar.
      • ‘Composers who wrote instrumental gavottes include François Couperin, Rameau, Purcell, Pachelbel, and J. C. F. Fischer.’
      • ‘A seagull struggled to cry over the gavotte that the school's ancient pipes were playing near me.’
      • ‘The Scherzo is not in triple time and indeed sounds more like the gavotte in Prokofiev's Classical Symphony, years before the fact.’
      • ‘He had recently orchestrated a gavotte with variations by Rameau, and had completed his Second Symphony, begun over five years before, but left unfinished until now.’
      • ‘That is, the gavotte switches to a vivace, which dissolves into a brief, though affecting, adagio.’


French, from Provençal gavoto ‘dance of the mountain people’, from Gavot ‘native of the Alps’.