bossa nova

bos·​sa no·​va | \ ˌbä-sə-ˈnō-və How to pronounce bossa nova (audio) \

Definition of bossa nova

1 : popular music of Brazilian origin that is rhythmically related to the samba but with complex harmonies and improvised jazzlike passages
2 : a dance performed to bossa nova music

Examples of bossa nova in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Wharf’s National Rosé Day Festival will include a live bossa nova band, DJ Kid Nemesis and more than 100 wineries offering 100 plus types of rosé wine. Rod Stafford Hagwood,, "Where are you going to wine up on National Rosé Day?," 5 June 2019 Her wrenching ballad performances and suave renditions of bossa nova standards earned her glowing reviews, increasingly prestigious bookings and the admiration of her colleagues. Andrew R. Chow, New York Times, "Rebecca Parris, Jazz Singer, Is Dead at 66," 22 June 2018 Caravelle is souped-up bossa nova for the sensual lounge and cocktail bar of your dreams. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Billboard Dance's Ones to Watch: May 2018," 25 May 2018 Using a recipe that incorporates everything from Brazilian bossa nova to spaghetti-Western guitars, each song comes served with a heaping side of bass and swagger. Zack Ruskin, San Francisco Chronicle, "Sofi Tukker on ascension to dance pop stardom," 9 May 2018 Over a slinky bossa nova beat, Misch and featured hip hop group De La Soul deliver a seductive hit of soulful music, letting the instruments and Misch’s silky voice steal the show. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Best Songs of 2018 So Far," 1 June 2018 The introspective songs are a mix of reggaeton, bossa nova (a genre of Brazilian music), and neo soul. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Required Listening: The Best Albums of 2018," 1 June 2018 The track has a bossa nova swing, but Reinhart's vocals — showcased on season 10 of American Idol — have the lilt of low-fi pop. Rebecca Farley,, "Haley Reinhart's "Last Kiss Goodbye" Has All Of Your Favorite Things," 31 May 2018 Guests also enjoyed a variety of samba, soul, bossa nova, and afro-international rhythms performed by Samba Soul. Sue Strachan,, "Building an Empire at Newcomb Art Museum opening," 26 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bossa nova.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bossa nova

1962, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bossa nova

Portuguese, literally, new trend

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bossa nova




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Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for bossa nova

The first known use of bossa nova was in 1962

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More Definitions for bossa nova

bossa nova


English Language Learners Definition of bossa nova

: a kind of music that is originally from Brazil
: a dance performed to bossa nova music

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More from Merriam-Webster on bossa nova

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bossa nova

Britannica English: Translation of bossa nova for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about bossa nova

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