terpsichorean

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The following is one of Merriam-Webster's Words of the Day. See below to find out how you can subscribe.


terpsichorean (adjective)

Definition: of or relating to dancing

Pronunciation: terp-sih-kuh-REE-un (Click here to hear the pronunciation of terpsichorean).

 

Example sentence:
"Moscow's Bolshoi Ballet headed south to Los Angeles Sunday afternoon after infecting this town with six days of...terpsichorean frenzy..." (Allan Ulrich, The San Francisco Examiner, August 10, 1987)

 

More about the word from Merriam-Webster:

In Greek and Roman mythology, Terpsichore (\terp-SIH-kuh-ree\) was one of the nine muses, those graceful sister-goddesses who presided over learning and the arts. Terpsichore was the patron of dance and choral song (and later lyric poetry), and in artistic representations she is often shown dancing and holding a lyre. Her name, which earned an enduring place in English through the adjective "terpsichorean," literally means "dance-enjoying," from "terpsis," meaning "enjoyment," and "choros," meaning "dance." "Choros" is also the source of "choreography" and "chorus" (those "choruses" in Athenian drama consisted of dancers as well as singers). The only other word we know that incorporates "terpsis" is "terpodion," an obsolete term for a piano-like musical instrument that was invented in 1816 but never really caught on.

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.


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