1773, "type of woman's overdress" (a tight, open gown looped at the sides), so called from from fancied resemblance to Polish costume; 1797, as the name of a type of 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.
updated on August 14, 2020