An unexplained epithet used by Chaucer in mention of the ships. By some its thought as “dancing (regarding trend)”; by others as “opposing,” “warlike.”
a lady who dances.
[That is, literally, ‘Further I saw burnt the dancing ships, the hunter strangled by the wild bears.’ The true explanation appears on comparing the original bellatrices carinæ (Statius, Thebaid, vii. 57), lit. ‘warlike ships,’ bellatrices being misread as *ballatrices, fem. of LL. ballator, a dancer (⟩ Sp. Pg. bailador, a dancer: see bayadere), ⟨ ballare, dance: see ball.]