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See also: goosestep


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An intentionally disparaging alternative name for the "balance step" (German Stechschritt, "cut step") from a fancied resemblance to the waddling of geese.


goose-step (plural goose-steps)

  1. (military, typically derogatory) A style of march in which the legs advance in turn without bending the knee, whether as a low quick march or a rigorous high slow march for ceremonial occasions; the various drills associated with these marches.
    • 1806 Feb. 11, Robert Thomas Wilson, Journal:
      The balance or goose-step introduced for their practice excites a fever of disgust.
    • 1941, George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn, Pt. I:
      A military parade is really a kind of ritual dance, something like a ballet, expressing a certain philosophy of life. The goose-step, for instance, is one of the most horrible sights in the world, far more terrifying than a dive-bomber. It is simply an affirmation of naked power; contained in it, quite consciously and intentionally, is the vision of a boot crashing down on a face. Its ugliness is part of its essence... Why is the goose-step not used in England? There are, heaven knows, plenty of army officers who would be only too glad to introduce some such thing. It is not used because the people in the street would laugh.
  2. (rugby) A deceptive step that breaks the normal flow of running and allows a player to accelerate and/or change direction quickly while simultaneously confusing the defender.



goose-step (third-person singular simple present goose-steps, present participle goose-stepping, simple past and past participle goose-stepped)

  1. (military, typically derogatory) To march with a goose-step.