bossa nova

bos·sa no·va | \ˌbä-sə-ˈnō-və \

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

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 The new song, which has already garnered more than 200,000 views on Youtube, starts with a bossa nova sample before the beat drops and Soto begins rapping. Billboard Venezuela, Billboard, "Venezuelan Rapper Big Soto Mixes Trap, Bossa Nova on New Single, 'Big Bang': Watch," 3 Mar. 2018 As a nation, Brazil has gained a reputation as a musical hub thanks to samba, bossa nova and tropicalia -- genres that reflect its history as a melting pot of African, European and indigenous cultures. Fabiola Moura,, "Brazilian Pop Star Crosses Borders With the Help of Spotify and YouTube," 6 Mar. 2018 Décor consists of industrial materials and autumnal hues, music ranges from bossa nova to Bowie, and the innovative food comes courtesy of the Indian chef Garima Arora, who worked previously at Copenhagen’s Noma restaurant and, yes, Gaggan. New York Times, "36 Hours in Bangkok," 15 Feb. 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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The first known use of bossa nova was in 1962

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

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