Definitions

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

  • noun A half turn to the right or left performed by a horse and rider.
  • intransitive verb To perform a caracole.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

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

  • intransitive verb (Man.) To move in a caracole, or in caracoles; to wheel.
  • noun (Man.) A half turn which a horseman makes, either to the right or the left.
  • noun (Arch.) A staircase in a spiral form.
  • noun spiral; -- said of a staircase.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A half-turn performed by a horse and rider in dressage.
  • noun military A combat maneuver.
  • verb To execute a caracole.

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

  • verb make a half turn on a horse, in dressage

Etymologies

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

[French, from Spanish caracol, snail.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French caracole (noun), literally ‘snail's shell’, caracoler (verb).

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

  • : 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

Comments

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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