Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A half turn to right or left performed by a horse and rider.
  • intransitive v. To perform a caracole.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A half-turn performed by a horse and rider in dressage.
  • n. A combat maneuver.
  • v. To execute a caracole.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A half turn which a horseman makes, either to the right or the left.
  • n. A staircase in a spiral form.
  • intransitive v. To move in a caracole, or in caracoles; to wheel.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To move or advance in a series of caracoles; prance.
  • To wheel, as cavalry.
  • n. In the manège, a semi-round or half-turn which a horseman makes, either to the right or to the left.
  • n. In architecture, a spiral staircase.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. make a half turn on a horse, in dressage

Etymologies

French, from Spanish caracol, snail.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French caracole (noun), literally ‘snail's shell’, caracoler (verb). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The confederates then passed out from the council chamber into the grand hall; each individual, as he took his departure, advancing towards the Duchess and making what was called the "caracole," in token of reverence.

    The Rise of the Dutch Republic — Volume 10: 1566, part I

  • Indeed, the figure of Major Dalgetty alone, sheathed in impenetrable armour, and making his horse caracole and bound, so as to give weight to every blow which he struck, would have been a novelty in itself sufficient to terrify those who had never seen anything more nearly resembling such a cavalier, than a SHELTY waddling under a Highlander far bigger than itself.

    A Legend of Montrose

  • In his joyous caracole round the lists, the attention of the Prince was called by the commotion, not yet subsided, which had attended the ambitious movement of Isaac towards the higher places of the assembly.

    Ivanhoe

  • They examined the new horse and made him caracole about the yard.

    The Cossacks

  • This capricious beast had been trained to caracole, and his owner had taken to impressing girls by making the beast execute this pretty trick whenever he saw one.

    Captain Corelli's Mandolin

  • : And he performed a little caracole, a half-buck that shook Kris* bones, and a kick or two before settling back down to his original steady pace.

    Arrow's Fall

  • Till now, each Athenian had saluted Hipparchos in his seat of honor; two had even made their horses caracole.

    The Praise Singer

  • It was his lyric about the fair young horseman who is begged not to caracole too high, because he is carrying someone's heart and one more leap might break it.

    The Praise Singer

  • Small boys waved their hands to us, the water-carrier carrying his tight goat-skin from the wells set his cups a-tinkling, as though by way of a God-speed, and then M'Barak touched his horse with the spur to induce the bravery of a caracole, and led us away from Djedida.

    Morocco

  • The other day, while a wedding party was just about to leave St. George's, Hanover Square, Mr. BENNETT, who happened to be passing by, took a flying caracole clean over the Rolls-Royce which contained the happy pair.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, 1920-04-21

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  • "...to her astonishment and alarm, the pen began to curve and caracole with the smoothest possible fluency."

    - Orlando, Virginia Woolf

    February 7, 2008