When you prance, you swagger around with exaggerated, proud movements. If you've seen many rock concerts, you've seen people prance around onstage.

When people prance, they're showing off, strutting for the benefit of their audience. Horses prance too, with a gait that's also a little artificial, using high, springy steps. You might prance a little when you run up on stage to accept an award, and a show horse might be equally inclined to prance as it moves past the judges. The horse gait definition is the original meaning of prance, and it probably comes from the Middle English pranken, "to show off."

Definitions of prance
  1. verb
    walk with a lofty proud gait, often in an attempt to impress others
    synonyms: cock, ruffle, sashay, strut, swagger, tittup
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    type of:
    use one's feet to advance; advance by steps
  2. verb
    spring forward on the hind legs
    “The young horse was prancing in the meadow”
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    type of:
    go, locomote, move, travel
    change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically
  3. verb
    ride a horse such that it springs and bounds forward
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    type of:
    ride horseback
    ride on horseback
  4. verb
    cause (a horse) to bound spring forward
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    type of:
    ride, sit
    sit and travel on the back of animal, usually while controlling its motions
  5. noun
    a proud stiff pompous gait
    synonyms: strut, swagger
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    type of:
    a person's manner of walking
Word Family
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