cur·vet /n. ˈkɜrvɪt; v. kərˈvɛt, ˈkɜrvɪt/ noun, verb, -vet·ted or -vet·ed, -vet·ting or -vet·ing.

1. Dressage . a leap of a horse from a rearing position, in which it springs up with the hind legs outstretched as the forelegs descend.

–verb (used without object)
2. to leap in a curvet, as a horse; cause one’s horse to do this.
3. to leap and frisk.
–verb (used with object)
4. to cause to make a curvet.

1565–75; earlier curvetto < It corvetta < F courbette, equiv. to courb ( er ) to bend, curve (≪ L curvāre; cf. curve) + –ette – ette


At last he gave his attention to the stone, which swirled with a swifter motion. In comparison, those of the archveult Xexamides were listless and dull. These danced and curveted, and sparkled with different colours.

Source: Tales of the Dying Earth by Jack Vance.