- a brisk, lively dance characterized by many intricate figures and the continual changing of partners
- music for such a dance
- a formal ball, esp. one at which debutantes are presented
Origin of cotillionFrench cotillon, origin, originally , petticoat from Old French cote: see coat
- A formal ball, especially one at which young women are presented to society.
- a. A lively dance, originating in France in the 18th century, having varied, intricate patterns and steps.b. A quadrille.c. The music for these dances.
Origin of cotillionFrench cotillon from Old French petticoat diminutive of cote coat ; see coat .
Circa 1750, in the sense of the dance, from French cotillon, originally “petticoat”, extended to the dance because of the distinctive lift of dress revealing the petticoat, from cotte + -illon (“(diminutive)”). Said to derive from the then popular song «Ma commere, quand je danse, Mon cotillion va-t-il bien».