Definition of minuet in English:



  • 1A slow, stately ballroom dance for two in triple time, popular especially in the 18th century.

    • ‘Ali began the minuet in time to the music, catching Andrew - who was still glaring at the Duke - by surprise.’
    • ‘He also celebrates the minuet, of all dances the one that most clearly captures the blend of pastoral elegance and amorous desire that becomes synonymous with the ballet itself.’
    • ‘Under the direction of instructor Shirley Agate-Proust from the Alberta Ballet School of Dance, a group of dancers in period costumes will recreate baroque dances including a minuet and a gavotte.’
    • ‘All the colour and grace of the eighteenth century was seen at its best during the dancing of the minuet.’
    • ‘In the show's finale, boys and girls from Beckfield Lane and Burton Stone Lane schools danced a minuet on the floodlit steps of the museum.’
    • ‘This was a real ball, the music playing was suited to waltzes and minuets, and it was amusing for Angelique to see how the groups were once more separated.’
    • ‘He indicates that the Irish dances were fine, as long as there was not enough room for the more refined movements of the polka, quadrille, or minuet.’
    • ‘‘The mob may sack Versailles; the Trianon may fall, but surely the minuet-the minuet itself is dancing itself away into the furthest stars’.’
    • ‘Mr. Gregory clapped his hands as the frustrated students tried to master the steps of the waltz or minuet.’
    • ‘He was also one of the leading teachers of the day, counting among his pupils Didelot, Perrot, Elssler, Bournonville, and Marie Taglioni, with whom he performed a minuet at the Paris Opera in 1835, when he was 75.’
    • ‘Louie, who dances a shaky minuet if properly guided, seemed like a shoo-in.’
    • ‘Her surviving hymn to the goddess, arranged by La Motte, serves as the sung text underlying the sacred ritual of the minuet.’
    1. 1.1 A piece of music in triple time in the style of a minuet, typically as a movement in a suite, sonata, or symphony and frequently coupled with a trio.
      • ‘She essentially turns the movement into both minuet and gigue and metamorphs one to the other without any sense of break at all.’
      • ‘He said that white people would still be dancing to minuets on tippy toes if it weren't for black music.’
      • ‘Before Althea Gibson punctured the color barrier of women's tennis 52 years ago, the sport was a genteel game played with the tempo of a minuet and the athleticism of couch potatoes.’
      • ‘Op. 54 is in two movements, minuet and a kind of perpetuum mobile, often referred to as a toccata: its form and style can't be found elsewhere in Beethoven.’
      • ‘The second movement, ‘Smooth Sailing,’ features delicate right-hand and left-hand phrasing that is characteristic of a minuet.’
      • ‘Its tempo is a little faster than a minuet, which Bach indicated by 3/8 instead of the standard minuet meter of 3 / 4.’
      • ‘The minuet character of the music, and the polka quotations, are displayed by the alternating, more static, poses of individual female dancers, with a pas de deux of male and female to provide a more rustic appearance.’
      • ‘From Beethoven onwards the traditional place of the minuet in symphonies and chamber music began to be taken over by the scherzo.’
      • ‘The muffled sound of the melodic minuet being played by the orchestra could be heard behind the French doors that had been tightly shut.’
      • ‘Touches are varied, legato, staccato - at times both used together in separate hands, and forms include simple sonata form, minuet, rondo, and theme and variations.’
      • ‘While the Andantio in the Opus 45 Symphony is grave and vaguely troubling, the mood quickly dissipates with a reassuring minuet.’
      • ‘As ever, I wanted some tunes to take away, apart from bits of airs (with a minuet as a slight leitmotiv) of contemporary style.’
      • ‘Excitingly articulate horn playing, lovely solo passages from section-leaders, refined tutti playing, and a musically shaped minuet all contributed to a thoroughly sparkling performance.’
      • ‘After the elegant minuet, the finale's explosive power was unleashed with impressive panache and energy.’
      • ‘This pair of movements was sometimes followed by a moderately slow dance movement (as in the minuet in Handel's overture to Samson), or the entire first section might be repeated.’


[no object]
  • Dance a minuet.

    • ‘The play's prologue, in yet another fully stretched example, is delivered in contemporary attire, before the cast minueting in period costumes.’
    • ‘They marched, minueted, clambered and flipped up and down backs, and skipped with their partners folk- dance style.’


Late 17th century: from French menuet, ‘fine, delicate’, diminutive (used as a noun) of menu ‘small’.