Definition of pavane in English:


(also pavan)

Pronunciation /pəˈvän/ /pəˈvɑn/


  • 1A stately dance in slow duple time, popular in the 16th and 17th centuries and performed in elaborate clothing.

    ‘Children also took part in period dances including the lively farandole from Provence and the slower pavan, both dating back to the time of Tudor kings and queens.’
    • ‘We danced a pavan, but it never worked with three either.’
    • ‘He described the pavan as a processional dance in duple time, with two single steps and one double step forwards, followed by the same sequence in reverse.’
    • ‘Similar comments apply to the pavane, the galliarde and the volta from the Elizabethan period.’
    • ‘We led the company in a pavane and I smiled at the King only when he looked over at me.’
    1. 1.1A piece of music for a pavane.
      ‘the repertory consists mainly of pavanes and galliards’
      • ‘He produced many fine sets of variations on popular melodies and ground basses as well as stylized dance music (especially pavans and galliards).’
      • ‘He too composed a pavan and galliard for the Earl.’
      • ‘The range of Orlando Gibbons can be savoured first in another expressive and touching pavan.’


Mid 16th century from French pavane, from Italian pavana, feminine adjective from Pavo, dialect name of Padua.