bachata

noun
ba·​cha·​ta | \ bä-ˈchä-tä How to pronounce bachata (audio) \

Definition of bachata

: a genre of popular song and dance of the Dominican Republic performed with guitars and percussion The group has helped make bachata's romantic tidings and spiky guitar syncopations a staple of Latin radio …— Jody Rosen, New York Times, 3 June 2009

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of bachata

1957, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bachata

borrowed from Caribbean Spanish, earlier, "partying, noisy revelry" of uncertain origin

Note: Fernando Ortiz Fernández, Glosario de afronegrismos (La Habana, 1924), p. 153, sees bachata as a derivative of bacha, supposedly a synonym, and both as aphaeretic forms of cumbancha or cumbacha (the latter very rare if it exists), which has approximately the same meaning as bachata. The base of cumbancha, per Ortiz Fernández, is cumbé, "a dance of Black people, and the music to which they dance" ("un baile de los negros, y el son á que se baila"), as the word is glossed in successive editions of the dictionary of the Real Academia Española, going back to the Diccionario de autoridades (the C volume in 1729), which cites the word in verse by the dramatist Francisco de Castro (1672-1713). These connections are possible, but speculative; the African etymologies proffered by Ortiz Fernández are even more speculative.

Learn More About bachata

Time Traveler for bachata

Time Traveler

The first known use of bachata was in 1957

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near bachata

Bacharach

bachata

bache

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for bachata

Cite this Entry

“Bachata.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bachata. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!