noun (1)
ban·​da | \ ˈban-də How to pronounce banda (audio) \
plural bandas

Definition of banda

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a thatched house of central Africa


noun (2)
ban·​da | \ ˈbän-dä How to pronounce banda (audio) \
plural bandas

Definition of banda (Entry 2 of 3)

: 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


noun (3)
ban·​da | \ ˈbän-dä How to pronounce banda (audio) \
plural bandas

Definition of banda (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : 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

2 : 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

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First Known Use of banda

Noun (2)

circa 1980, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

1981, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for banda

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

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The first known use of banda was circa 1980

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Cite this Entry

“Banda.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on banda

Spanish Central: Translation of banda

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