Definition of cakewalk in English:



  • 1informal An absurdly or surprisingly easy task.

    ‘winning the league won't be a cakewalk for them’
    • ‘I don't think anybody knows how long it would take, and I don't think anybody should go on the impression that it's going to be easy or a cakewalk or whatever those phrases are that people use.’
    • ‘The fact that the guard was a thin man considerably shorter than Walker made the task seem like a cakewalk.’
    • ‘‘To get established was not easy, it was not a cakewalk for me,’ she admits.’
    • ‘It annoys us a bit that some people assumed that after beating Cork this would be a bit of a cakewalk for us, that we'd go up there and beat them well.’
    • ‘I don't think it's going to be a cakewalk for us to stay there.’
    • ‘But that does not mean that Roberts’ trip to the high bench will be a cakewalk, nor should it be.’
    • ‘It was not exactly a cakewalk for the actresses either: ‘There is a lot of Urdu used in the film and we had to work on our diction as well as dance for the songs.’’
    • ‘It's the psychological condition that allowed them and their followers to convince themselves that invading and occupying a large but dysfunctional country would be a cakewalk.’
    • ‘But fortunately, for even the most dunderheaded of theatre-goers - your reviewer included - acting in this play should prove a cakewalk.’
    • ‘And so has this story, this investigation, this scandal, changed the election from what was a cakewalk into now possibly a defeat for the prime minister?’
    • ‘Today the soon-to-be Senate majority leader suggested things won't necessarily be a cakewalk for his own party in the new Senate.’
    • ‘‘I knew from day one of joining the four-month course that passing the exam would be a cakewalk,’ he says, with a twinkle in his eyes.’
    • ‘Pardon the mixed metaphor, but as those of us who rode the roller coaster from start to finish know, this isn't, alas, a team that's mastered the art of the cakewalk.’
    • ‘For his city-dwelling clients, the climb isn't such a cakewalk.’
    • ‘As tough as it may be to get hired in political science, it's a cakewalk compared to getting a position in, say, English departments.’
    • ‘My Spanish exam was a cakewalk, I finished in about 20 minutes.’
    • ‘From here on, international tournaments will not be American All-Star cakewalks.’
    • ‘Although I suspect the match will be a cakewalk, we are going to take it very seriously.’
    • ‘Let's just get this part over with, then the rest will be a cakewalk.’
    • ‘The First Amendment, we should recall, would be a cakewalk if people expressed themselves within prescribed boundaries of acceptable speech.’
    easy task, easy job, child's play, five-finger exercise, gift, walkover, nothing, sinecure, gravy train
  • 2historical A dancing contest among black Americans in which a cake was awarded as a prize.

    • ‘I learned that the cakewalk, a highstepping dance, began on Southern plantations in the 1840s.’
    • ‘It arose in the slavery period as an accompaniment to plantation dances like the cakewalk.’
    • ‘Linked to West African dance forms, the joyous strutting of the cakewalks implied that the plantation was a sunny home with happy slaves; beneath that facade, however, the dance actually mocked the slave owners.’
    • ‘As a cultural form, the cakewalk originated on the antebellum plantation as a key vehicle of black resistance against enslavement.’
    1. 2.1A strutting dance popularized by minstrel shows in the late 19th century.
      • ‘Her dance revue, Le Jazz Hot, included vernacular forms like the shimmy, black bottom, shorty george and the cakewalk.’
      • ‘Starting with footage shot by Thomas Edison (yes, the Thomas Edison), this magnificent compilation takes us from dances like the cakewalk to the jitterbug.’
      • ‘Dream ballets and integrated dance numbers replaced flashy kick lines, and for a while, it looked as if tap would go the way of the cakewalk and the waltz, pretty much disappearing from our musical theater.’
      • ‘New to audiences might be the fact that the lindy hop, along with the Charleston, cakewalk, minstrel blues and boogie-woogie, was not originally called swing, but rather jazz.’


[with object]
  • 1informal Achieve or win something easily.

    ‘he cakewalked to a 5–1 triumph’
    • ‘‘I wouldn't want to be cakewalking through games and then get to the playoffs and not have this kind of experience, ‘Donovan said.’’
    • ‘Tell me again why the Liberals are expected to cakewalk through the coming election?’
    • ‘Only a few teams have a chance to prevent Arizona from cakewalking through the rest of the season.’
    • ‘Had they played sensibly they could have cakewalked that game.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, he cakewalked through the competition, reinforcing his father's belief that his son would also rise through the bodybuilding ranks.’
  • 2Walk or dance in the manner of a cakewalk.

    ‘a troupe of clowns cakewalked by’
    • ‘The whole Virginia Minstrels chorus joins in while cakewalking in line behind Emmett.’
    • ‘As the troupe becomes even more successful, their stage set at the Maxwell Theater features a huge Sambo backdrop through whose grinning mouth the minstrels cakewalk onto the stage.’