from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Something easily accomplished: Winning the race was a cakewalk for her.
- n. A 19th-century public entertainment among African Americans in which walkers performing the most accomplished or amusing steps won cakes as prizes.
- n. A strutting dance, often performed in minstrel shows.
- n. The music for this dance.
- intransitive v. To perform a strutting dance.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A contest in which cake was offered for the best dancers.
- n. The style of music associated with such a contest.
- n. The dance, or style of dance associated with such a contest.
- n. Something that is easy or simple, or that does not present a great challenge.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a strutting dance based on a march; was performed in minstrel shows; originated as a competition among Black dancers to win a cake
- v. perform the cakewalk dance
- n. an easy accomplishment
Originally a form of dance that white masters had their slaves perform for them and their audiences as entertainment. The slaveowners considered the spectacle extremely amusing since the dances derived from sophisticated white European aristocracy. As such, slaveowners dressed the slaves in costumes of exaggerated finery, like ridiculously tall tophats and flashy striped pants, and taught the slaves variations of the original dance steps designed as highly comical parodies. Audiences selected their favorites, and the slaves who performed most entertainingly for their masters were rewarded with a piece of cake. (Wiktionary)