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noun (1)

ban·​da ˈban-də How to pronounce banda (audio)
plural bandas
: a thatched house of central Africa


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noun (2)

ban·​da ˈbän-dä How to pronounce banda (audio)
plural bandas
: an onstage instrumental ensemble in an opera
In Rigoletto the banda (stage band) and in La Traviata the orchestra open their respective first acts with the main musical ideas …Martin Chusid, Verdi's Middle Period, 1997


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noun (3)

ban·​da ˈbän-dä How to pronounce banda (audio)
plural bandas
: a Mexican band traditionally featuring brass instruments, tambora, and often woodwinds and singers
He told me that the banda had visited the United States already in 1948 to play in Los Angeles on the Fourth of July, American Independence Day.Helena Simonett, Banda, 2001

called also tambora

: music played by a banda
While regional Mexican music incorporates other traditional styles, banda is unique in its energizing percussive power and commanding horns.Billboard, 15 Nov. 2003

called also tambora

Word History


Noun (1)

borrowed from Swahili

Noun (2)

borrowed from Italian, "troop, band, band of musicians," borrowed from Middle French bande and Old Occitan banda band entry 3

Noun (3)

borrowed from Spanish, "group, troop, band of musicians," in part borrowed from French bande band entry 3, in part continuing earlier banda "flock, herd," perhaps of pre-Latin origin

First Known Use

Noun (2)

circa 1980, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

1981, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of banda was circa 1980

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Dictionary Entries Near banda

Cite this Entry

“Banda.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

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