Definition of terpsichorean in English:



formal, humorous
  • Relating to dancing.

    • ‘Now when the French government sponsors a festival, it does so with a certain panache, and this offering of contemporary French dance provided a shop window on their terpsichorean culture with ten companies splashed over two weeks.’
    • ‘Even my feet are beginning to move slightly and it takes bombs to bring out any rudimentary terpsichorean talents that I possess.’
    • ‘In Elizabethan masques, poets, composers, choreographers and scenic designers emulated or simulated the Golden Age, immobilising Time in terpsichorean elegance.’
    • ‘Tom and Pete are the Vic and Bob of the dance world - a terpsichorean double-act whose work spills over into territory not normally trodden by the Lycra-clad.’
    • ‘Established in 1994, it was thought by some to be on the same terpsichorean level as the famous Perm Ballet, even though the two companies, which shared the same theater, were diametrically opposed in their views of dance.’
    • ‘Even so, the young dancers in the Opera North company have considerable terpsichorean ability; and the revamped plot has a crude contemporary relevance in dealing with Immigration and Identity.’
    • ‘Commonplace stuff, but the details of life are always shifting on you, and the child who dances without care in the middle of Southdale turns into the stoop-shouldered teen who rolls her eyes when you bring up her terpsichorean abandon.’
    • ‘Despite dance-instruction diagrams plastered across the cover and occasional references in subject headers, Shuman's terpsichorean allusions are superficial at best.’
    • ‘In Karachi, what at times starts off as a docile four-lane line-up in a thoroughfare meant for two lanes, frequently descends to a crawl and ends in a seething orgy of terpsichorean self-expression run riot.’
    • ‘It was clear that Anita Ratnam was an object of devotion and an inspiration to her talented young dancers - to whom she gave generous space to display their admirable terpsichorean gifts.’
    • ‘The eight-day event will provide opportunities for anyone to have a go, as well as showcasing regional terpsichorean talent.’
    • ‘But at the dark club of the Unspecified Collection of Gods, all that mattered was the capacity to be swept away in a terpsichorean frenzy to those strange unknown rhythms, and the ability to pay the cover and produce a valid picture ID.’
    • ‘For Brown, doing the Cirque work is like getting a terpsichorean passport through the world's different cultures, whether it's Chinese acrobatics or the Russian bar.’
    • ‘The climax to these terpsichorean rites was, of course, the appearance of the King himself, also masked and sometimes specifically attired as the Sun in its Heaven.’
    • ‘The Duke of Wellington got it more or less right when he said that the course of a battle was as difficult to follow as an evening spent in terpsichorean enjoyment.’
    • ‘A subsequent theatre arts program examined different ballet solos from a dramatic, rather than terpsichorean, standpoint.’
    • ‘The cause for celebration, the ninth annual American Choreography Awards, also proved a fine showcase for an array of terpsichorean talents.’


formal, humorous
  • A dancer.

    • ‘Although ballet took on a new look with the abstract terpsichoreans of Balanchine, this 1984 piece for me was the onset of contemporary ballet.’
    • ‘Then again, dear reader, have you taken a close look at our native terpsichoreans?’
    • ‘Even committed terpsichoreans may find her book a dry, dutiful trudge through the life of America's most electrifying and infuriating 20th-century choreographer.’
    • ‘Every Sunday, around 10 or 11 in the morning, a few dozen terpsichoreans gather in the park's concourse, slip some Basie into a boombox, take to the stage, and dance.’


Early 19th century: from Terpsichore (used in the 18th century to denote a female dancer or the art of dance) + -an.