Definition of strathspey in English:



  • 1A slow Scottish dance.

    • ‘Examples are too numerous to mention, but from reels to strathspeys, fast or slow, he always convinces.’
    • ‘Six men opened the suite with the McKenzie of Seaforth strathspey, requiring the alternate beating of the calves by feet shod in ghillies and the arms en haut.’
    • ‘So we can jig and reel, and strathspey, we are capable of pas de pax setting, possettes and allemande, and we even know the names of some of the people that go there.’
    • ‘As a young officer in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, he became adept at reels, strathspeys and sword dances.’
    • ‘‘We are not as structured as some of the strathspeys or the jigs and reels, but we're something that has come from the time we're living in,’ considers Ellis.’
    1. 1.1 A piece of music for a strathspey, typically in four-four time.
      • ‘So the sound of Gaelic songs and marches, strathspeys and reels were a daily occurrence throughout my childhood.’
      • ‘Reels and jigs, marches and waltzes, strathspeys, airs and hornpipes flow once the guests are lubricated with a drop of the hard stuff.’
      • ‘Because the strathspey rhythm has four strong beats to the bar, is played quickly, and contains many dot-cut 'snaps,' it is a rhythmically tense idiom.’
      • ‘When I was there the fiddler was a septuagenarian named John MacDougal, who sat straight up in a plain chair and rasped out jigs, reels, strathspeys and airs with solemnity worthy of a judge.’


Mid 18th century: from Strathspey, the name of the valley of the River Spey.