One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A square dance performed typically by four couples and containing five figures, each of which is a complete dance in itself.
- ‘Dickens, we are told, happily danced a half dozen quadrilles and thanked his hosts for their ‘affectionate’ greeting.’
- ‘The final of the three numbers was an eight-person quadrille with some modern variations.’
- ‘‘La Danza del Toro’ (dance of the bull) is a centuries-old quadrille, danced with swords, which re-enacts a folk stow from Mexico's colonial past.’
- ‘It won't last long, this curious quadrille of quasi-courtship.’
- ‘The shifting positions on his map give the impression of a lobsters' quadrille being danced.’
- ‘Who might indulge in a boogie-woogie quadrille at such a time is beyond me.’
- ‘The traditional folk dance, the quadrille, dates back to eighteenth century European settlers.’
- ‘Oh, yes, I had three waltzes, the second quadrille and the mazurka, and he is ever so courteous, and kind, and gentlemanly!’
- ‘Traditional French Canadian dances include the quadrille and the gigue.’
- ‘Working with the steps of formal quadrilles and folk dances, St Lucians developed different kinds of dances.’
- ‘As soon as the quadrille ended another waltz began.’
- 1.1 A piece of music for a quadrille.
- ‘One could find parts of a symphony and an overture of German or Austrian origin along with Italian opera selections, quadrilles, and virtuoso items.’
- ‘The earliest music of European origin included quadrilles played by regimental bands in the penal settlements.’
- ‘He only grinned and led me back onto the dance floor as quadrille began.’
- 1.2historical Each of four groups of riders taking part in a tournament or carousel, distinguished by a special costume or colours.
- 1.3 A riding display.‘a 32-horse quadrille’
- ‘One chooses to concentrate on jumping; the other practices quadrille maneuvers, an excellent way to perfect riding skills.’
Mid 18th century: from French from Spanish cuadrilla or Italian quadriglia ‘troop, company’, from cuadra, quadra ‘square’, based on Latin quadrare ‘make square’.
A trick-taking card game for four players using a pack of forty cards (i.e. one lacking eights, nines, and tens), fashionable in the 18th century.
Early 18th century: from French, perhaps from Spanish cuartillo (from cuarto ‘fourth’). The change in the first syllable was due to association with quadrille.
A ruled grid of small squares, especially on paper.as modifier ‘50 unheaded grey quadrille leaves’
Late 19th century: from French quadrillé, from quadrille ‘small square’, from Spanish cuadrillo ‘small block’.
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