Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An upward leap made by a trained horse without going forward and with a backward kick of the hind legs at the height of the leap.
  • noun A playful leap or jump; a caper.
  • intransitive verb To perform a capriole.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To execute a capriole; leap; skip.
  • noun A caper or leap, as in dancing; a sudden bound; a spring.
  • noun In the manège, an upward spring or leap made by a horse without advancing, the hind legs being jerked out when at the height of the leap.
  • noun A kind of head-dress worn by women.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To perform a capriole.
  • noun (Man.) A leap that a horse makes with all fours, upwards only, without advancing, but with a kick or jerk of the hind legs when at the height of the leap.
  • noun A leap or caper, as in dancing.

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

  • noun a playful leap or hop
  • verb perform a capriole, in ballet
  • verb perform a capriole, of horses in dressage
  • noun (dressage) a vertical jump of a trained horse with a kick of the hind legs at the top of the jump

Etymologies

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

[French, from Italian capriola, somersault, from capriolo, roebuck, wild goat, from Latin capreolus, diminutive of caper, capr-, goat.]

Examples

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Comments

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  • "Like the satyr, the Devil is a rakishly handsome man with at least one cloven hoof, a long tail, horns or goat's ears. Both are master musicians—the satyr plays the lyre or pipes, the Devil the violin. Both scamper in dance-like movements of the goat, performing caprioles."

    —Steven Lonsdale, quoted in Barbara Ehrenreich, Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006), 81

    March 14, 2009