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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ A party of enthusiasts danced a quadrille on a flat rock near the middle of the stream.
▪ My biology lab notes are written on green-tint quadrille.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Quadrille \Qua*drille"\, n. [F. quadrille, n. masc., cf. It. quadriglio; or perhaps from the Spanish. See Quadrille a dance.] A game played by four persons with forty cards, being the remainder of an ordinary pack after the tens, nines, and eights are discarded.


Quadrille \Qua*drille"\, n. [F. quadrille, n. fem., fr. Sp. cuadrilla meeting of four or more persons or It. quadriglia a band of soldiers, a sort of dance; dim. fr. L. quadra a square, fr. quattuor four. See Quadrate.]

  1. A dance having five figures, in common time, four couples of dancers being in each set.

  2. The appropriate music for a quadrille.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1773, "lively square dance for four couples," from French quadrille (17c.), originally one of four groups of horsemen in a tournament (a sense attested in English from 1738), from Spanish cuadrilla, diminutive of cuadro "four-sided battle square," from Latin quadrum "a square," related to quattuor "four" (see four). The craze for the dance hit England in 1816, and it underwent a vigorous revival late 19c. among the middle classes.\n

\nEarlier the name of a popular card game for four hands, and in this sense from French quadrille (1725), from Spanish cuartillo, from cuarto "fourth," from Latin quartus. OED notes it as fashionable from 1726 ("and was in turn superseded by whist"), the year of Swift's (or Congreve's) satirical ballad on the craze:\n\nThe commoner, and knight, the peer,\n
Men of all ranks and fame,\n
Leave to their wives the only care,\n
To propagate their name;\n
And well that duty they fulfil\n
When the good husband's at Quadrille &c.\n


Etymology 1 n. 1 A dance originating in the mid-1700s with four dancers forming a square, rather much like the modern square dance. 2 The music for this dance. 3 (context card games English) A Spanish trick-taking card game from the 1700s. 4 A choreographed dressage ride, commonly performed to music, with a minimum of four horses. vb. (context intransitive English) To dance the quadrille. Etymology 2

n. Quadrille ruled graph paper, quad paper.

  1. n. music for dancing the quadrille

  2. a square dance of 5 or more figures for 4 or more couples


The Quadrille is a dance that was fashionable in late 18th- and 19th-century Europe and its colonies. Performed by four couples in a rectangular formation, it is related to American square dancing. The Lancers, a variant of the quadrille, became popular in the late 19th century and was still danced in the 20th century in folk-dance clubs. A derivative found in the Francophone Lesser Antilles is known as kwadril, and the dance is also still found in Madagascar and is within old Jamaican / Caribbean culture.

The quadrille consists of a chain of four to six contredanses, courtly versions of English country dances that had been taken up at the court of Louis XIV and spread across Europe. Latterly the quadrille was frequently danced to a medley of opera melodies.

Quadrille (play)

Quadrille is a play by Noël Coward. The romantic comedy premiered in 1952 and starred Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt. It played on Broadway in 1955, where Lunt won a Tony Award for his performance.

Quadrille (dressage)

Quadrille is a choreographed dressage ride, commonly performed to music, which is often compared to an equestrian ballet or to a drill team. A minimum of four horses are used, although many times more (always in pairs), which perform movements together. Quadrille may be ridden as a performance, such as those given by the Spanish Riding School, or as a competitive test with judging. At the highest level, quadrille includes movements such as shoulder-in, travers, half-pass, passage, flying changes, and canter pirouettes.

Quadrille (disambiguation)

Quadrille is a dance.

Quadrille may also refer to:

  • Quadrille (card game), a trick-taking card game
  • Quadrille (dressage), a choreographed dressage ride
  • Quadrille (play), a 1952 play by Noël Coward
  • Square tiling in geometry
  • Quadrille (film), a film by Valérie Lemercier
  • Quadrille, a type of graph paper
Quadrille (card game)

Quadrille is a card game that was popular in the 18th century. A variant of the Spanish card game Ombre, it is played by four players in pairs, with a deck of 40 cards (the 8's, 9's and 10's being removed). By the end of the 19th century, the card game had fallen out of fashion.

The novel Pride and Prejudice includes four references to the quadrille card game being played by an upper class character, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and her guests. In the Diary of Thomas Vernon, which was written by a loyalist from Newport, Rhode Island, during the American Revolution in 1776, the author mentions playing quadrille frequently while exiled in Glocester, Rhode Island, during the war. It is also frequently mentioned in The Diary of a Country Parson 1758-1802 kept by James Woodforde, edited by John Beresford.

Usage examples of "quadrille".

Minuets and quadrilles followed each other in succession, and refreshments began to make their appearance.

Quadrille, welche bei den Zeremonien den Ehrenwagen besetzt und an den Fest- und Ehrentagen der Phalanx die Honneurs macht.

After a quadrille, in which I had exerted myself a good deal, I felt hot and went up to my room to put on a lighter suit, and as I was doing so, in came the fair cousin, who asked me if I required anything.

The minuets came to an end, and Dupre announced the quadrilles, and I was glad to see the Chevalier Ville-Follet dancing with the Corticelli.

In cotillion or quadrille, with sets and steps fixed, demanding a certain space, there was little chance of unexpected intimacy.

I then danced with all the ladies present until the good-natured old man got me the object of my vows as a partner in the quadrilles, which he did so easily that no one could have made any remark.

She could not say any more, as she was called away to a game at quadrille.

His great genius for financial combinations was at this time employed by him in gleek, trick-track, quadrille, whist, loo, ombre, and other pastimes of mingled luck and skill.

At the end of the quadrille all the men thought they had a right to take liberties with the abbe, and I became myself rather free with the young girls, who would have been afraid of exposing themselves to ridicule had they offered any opposition to my caresses.

A quadrille was formed, but the thing was contrived in such a manner as to leave me out of it, and the very lady who had refused me as a partner danced with another gentleman.

The quadrille lasted one hour, and I took no part in it, but immediately after it, a Harlequin approached me with the impertinence which belongs to his costume, and flogged me with his wand.

I should have, no doubt, remained unknown, but when the quadrilles were being arranged I took my place in one, without reflecting that I should have to take off my mask.

We spent a couple of hours in talking about astrology, and the same time in playing at quadrille, and then we took a walk in the garden, where I was politely left to enjoy the society of the fair Roman.

When the cool of the evening came they had sat and watched a wedding-party dance quadrilles on a lawn by the river, overhung by chestnut trees and severed by a clear and rapid channel, weedless as the air, from an island crowded by the weather-bleached ruins of a mill.

You will dance a quadrille, in the costume of Francis the First, with the Margravine of Baireuth and the Duchess of Brunswick.