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

  • n. A dance for two, especially a dance in ballet consisting of an entrée and adagio, a variation for each dancer, and a coda.
  • n. A close relationship between two people or things, as during an activity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A dance performed by two dancers.

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

  • n. (ballet) a dance for two people (usually a ballerina and a danseur noble)


French : pas, step + de, of, for + deux, two.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
loan term from French (Wiktionary)


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  • "This novel The Song Is You is a pas de deux between a young singer-songwriter and the much older man who actively, obsessively inspires her."
    Kate Christensen; Always on My Mind; The New York Times; Apr 10, 2009.

    "One of the many paradoxes of this place we call home is the pas de deux of life and death."
    G. D. Maxwell; Screaming Into the Void; Pique Newsmagzaine (Whistler, Canada); Apr 8, 2009.

    April 25, 2009

  • In ballet, a pas de deux (French, step/dance for two) is a duet in which ballet steps are performed together. It usually consists of an entrée, adagio, two variations (one for each dancer), and a coda.

    February 18, 2008