A light leap by a horse, in which both hind legs leave the ground just before the forelegs are set down.
v. cur·vet·ted, cur·vet·ting, cur·vets or cur·vet·ed or cur·vet·ing
1. To leap in a curvet.
2. To prance; frolic.
To cause to leap in a curvet.
[Italian corvetta, from Old Italian, from Old French courbette, from courber, to curve, from Latin curvāre, from curvus, curved; see sker-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.