1773, "woman's overdress" (from fancied resemblance to Polish costume); 1797, "stately dance," from French (danse) polonaise "a Polish (dance)," fem. of polonais (adj.) "Polish," from Pologne "Poland," from Medieval Latin Polonia "Poland" (see Poland). In the culinary sense, applied to dishes supposed to be cooked in Polish style, attested from 1889.
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