bom·​ba ˈbōm-bə How to pronounce bomba (audio)
plural bombas
: a traditional Puerto Rican drum consisting of a barrel with a goatskin head
: a genre of Puerto Rican dance accompanied by drums and other percussion
also : a song sung by a soloist and chorus to accompany a bomba

Word History


borrowed from American Spanish (Puerto Rico), probably feminine derivative of Spanish bombo "drum," derivative of the onomatopoeic base of earlier bomba "pump, bomb"

First Known Use

1951, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bomba was in 1951

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Dictionary Entries Near bomba

Cite this Entry

“Bomba.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

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