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

v walk with a lofty proud gait, often in an attempt to impress others

cock, ruffle, sashay, strut, swagger, tittup
Type of:
use one's feet to advance; advance by steps

v spring forward on the hind legs

“The young horse was prancing in the meadow”
Type of:
go, locomote, move, travel
change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically

v ride a horse such that it springs and bounds forward

Type of:
ride horseback
ride on horseback

v cause (a horse) to bound spring forward

Type of:
ride, sit
sit and travel on the back of animal, usually while controlling its motions

n a proud stiff pompous gait

strut, swagger
Type of:
a person's manner of walking

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.