Definitions

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

  • n. An Australian Aboriginal dance festival held at night to celebrate tribal victories or other events.
  • n. Australian A large, noisy celebration.
  • n. Australian A great tumult; a disturbance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A nocturnal dance held by Australian Aborigines, for social, celebratory or warlike purposes.
  • n. Any noisy, late-night gathering or disturbance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A nocturnal festivity with which the Australian aborigines celebrate tribal events of importance. Symbolic dances are given by the young men of the tribe, while the women act as musicians.
  • n. A song or chant made for such a festivity.
  • n. A festivity or social gathering, esp. one of a noisy or uproarious character; hence, tumult; uproar.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To hold a corroboree; be used for that purpose.
  • n. A wardance or dancing-party of the aborigines of Australia and New Zealand.

Etymologies

From Dharuk garabari.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Dharug garabara. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The word corroboree is applied equally to the dance, the whole festival, or the actual chant which accompanies the dancing.

    Spinifex and Sand

  • Some old clothes were then put on some of the men and women, and the affair ended in several of our party and several of the black fellows having an impromptu "corroboree," to the intense delight of the natives, and I must say, very much to our amusement.

    Successful Exploration Through the Interior of Australia

  • "corroboree," where graceful thanks were returned by the Opposition candidate, who was overloaded with offerings of blue and white violets and narcissi, and amid great enthusiasm dragged in a buggy to the railway station.

    Some Everyday Folk and Dawn

  • The endangered mountain pygmy possum (Burramys parvus) and the corroboree frog (Pseudophryne corroboree) are both strict endemics found only in high elevation areas.

    Australian Alps montane grasslands

  • The next minute Billy the Boy raises the most awful corroboree of screams and howls, enough for a whole gang of bush-rangers, if they went in for that sort of thing.

    Robbery Under Arms

  • A dance, called by the colonists a corroboree, now took place, in which only the unarmed men joined.

    Ralph Rashleigh

  • The corroboree of native companions (ANTIGONE AUSTRALASIANA) may certainly be the practice of a defensive manoeuvre, though it has the appearance of a graceful dance.

    My Tropic Isle

  • These distinctive traits, worn with careless hair, were so original, so intensely entertaining and notoriety-provoking in a camp which had never possessed the copyright of more than one shabby corroboree, that Wylo made many conquests.

    My Tropic Isle

  • That he did most truly and sincerely believe the existence of “debils-debils” we had proof every evening, for he would sit at the door of his grass hut, maintain a big, dancing fire, and sing lustily under the supposition that a good discordant corroboree was the most effective scare.

    My Tropic Isle

  • The weather was close, and being satisfied, and, for once, frugal, George cooked the two remaining fish, and swathing them neatly in fresh green leaves, sauntered away, cooing a corroboree of content.

    My Tropic Isle

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  • Only the grass stands up
    to mark the dancing-ring; the apple-gums
    posture and mime past corroboree,
    murmur a broken chant.

    - Judith Wright, 'Bora Ring'.

    August 8, 2009

  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
    noun
    Etymology: Dharuk (Australian aboriginal language of the Port Jackson area) garaabara
    Date: 1811
    1: a nocturnal festivity with songs and symbolic dances by which the Australian aborigines celebrate events of importance
    2Australian a: a noisy festivity

    January 31, 2008