dance

dance
{{11}}dance (n.) c.1300, from DANCE (Cf. dance) (v.).
{{12}}dance (v.) c.1300, from O.Fr. dancier (12c., Mod.Fr. danser), of unknown origin, perhaps from Low Frankish *dintjan and akin to O.Fris. dintje "tremble, quiver." A word of uncertain origin but which, through French influence in arts and society, has become the primary word for this activity from Spain to Russia (Cf. It. danzare, Sp. danzar, Rum. dansa, Swed. dansa, Ger. tanzen).
In part the loanword from French is used mainly with reference to fashionable dancing while the older native word persists in use with reference to folk-dancing, as definitively Russ. pljasat' vs. tancovat' [Buck].
Replaced O.E. sealtian, itself a borrowing from L. saltare "to dance," frequentative of salire "to leap" (see SALIENT (Cf. salient); "dance" words frequently are derived from words meaning "jump, leap"). Related: Danced; dancing.
It is strange, and will, I am sure, appear to my readers almost incredible, that as far as I have ever read, there is no reference that can be identified as containing a clear allusion to dancing in any of our really ancient MS. books. [Eugene O'Curry, "On the Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish," vol. 2, p.406, 1873]

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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