Definition of polonaise in English:



  • 1A slow dance of Polish origin in triple time, consisting chiefly of an intricate march or procession.

    ‘a polonaise and mazurka danced by the Theatre's famous ballet school’
    • ‘We then launch into the polonaise, which is where I have a bit of a problem with this choreography.’
    • ‘The energetic polonaise and waltz will kick off the dancing, introduced by debut dancers from the German language school in Sofia with their choreographer Ventsislav Dermendjiev.’
    • ‘Between polonaises and mazurkas, character teacher David Boyet emphasizes artistry as he demonstrates epaulement.’
    • ‘The film ends with Poles dancing their traditional polonaise to celebrate a military victory over the Russians.’
    • ‘In a short scene the Poles, characterised by mazurkas and polonaises, lament the downturn in their fortunes and decide to go in search of the new Russian Tsar and capture him.’
    • ‘There would be no lines of wilis in arabesque drawn magnetically together in Giselle, nor any grand polonaise for the ensemble in Theme and Variations.’
    1. 1.1 A piece of music for the polonaise.
      ‘he played a polonaise by Chopin’
      • ‘The polonaises in C minor, op. 40, and A-flat major, op. 53, only further corroborated the point that Kissin is above all a marvelous Chopin interpreter, on a level which only a handful of his peers attain.’
      • ‘I would recommend Vladimir Horowitz's recordings of the études and mazurkas, Artur Rubinstein's recordings of the polonaises and concertos, and Luiz de Moura-Castro's recordings of the ‘Ballade in G minor’ and the nocturnes.’
      • ‘One of the soloists that evening - young violinist Valja Dervenska - performed the Brilliant polonaise by Wieniawski with passion and virtuosity.’
      • ‘Although Telemann tampered with even basic characteristics of Polish folk music (Chopin would have blanched at the idea of a polonaise in duple time!)’
      • ‘His pieces have a simple, homespun character that is notably independent of Western influences, and the large repertory of early 19th-century polonaises, including the earliest attempts by Chopin, owed a good deal to his model.’
      • ‘There are, for example, a polka, a fughetta, a rondo, a rondino, an impromptu, a mazurka, a barcarolle, two arabesques, a ragtime, three polonaises, a tango and a rumba, not to mention a sequence of four nocturnes.’
      • ‘Sixteen preparatory pieces, such as preludes, études, bagatelles, barcarolles, nocturnes and polonaises, present, reinforce and prepare students for what is coming next.’
      • ‘The four top prizes include $18,000, $12,000, $8,000 and $5,000, with special $1,000 prizes for the best performance of a mazurka, polonaise and concerto.’
      • ‘Every now and then they stretch to a nocturne (average running time: five minutes) or polonaise (around six minutes), but seldom a ballade (close to ten).’
      • ‘It also may be played more slowly, since some writers have described it incorrectly as being in the style of a polonaise.’
      • ‘The most extraordinary musical evocation is undoubtedly the rendering of a John Cleese prose poem by the Monty Python Team (in the film The Meaning of Life) that tells the life of Cromwell set to the music of a polonaise by Chopin.’
      • ‘Suddenly a Chopin polonaise fills the room, soft and enchanting and so otherworldly that nurses pause on their rounds to listen and some patients take a break from their pain.’
      • ‘Two polonaises rounded off the generous all-Chopin half.’
      • ‘The recital consists of essentially triple-time dance music - mazurkas, waltzes, and polonaises - although you might find it difficult to trip the light fantastic to any of this.’
  • 2historical A woman's dress with a tight bodice and a skirt open from the waist downwards, looped up to show a decorative underskirt.

    ‘a black velvet polonaise with jet buttons’
    • ‘They'll cut you up like spare ribbons on Mademoiselle Jebraiel's polonaise!’
    • ‘The polonaise was usually cut like a princess dress, without a waist seam, and often differed from it only in that it was not full length.’
    • ‘Her lips were a red of the same tint, as was the polonaise she was so daintily flaunting - over which, she wore a black cloak.’


  • (of a dish) garnished with chopped hard-boiled egg yolk, breadcrumbs, and parsley.

    ‘polonaise sauce and trout sauce are specially made’
    • ‘I took the roast fillet of beef in a parsley crust with asparagus polonaise and turnip and turned carrots.’
    • ‘Other egg sauces include those in which chopped hard-cooked eggs are an ingredient such as Polonaise Sauce.’


Mid 18th century: from French, feminine of polonais ‘Polish’, from medieval Latin Polonia ‘Poland’.