bossa nova

noun
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 For Tuesday's installment of her NBC talk show's daily Kellyoke segment, Clarkson delivered a bossa nova take on the Wham! Jack Irvin, PEOPLE.com, 7 June 2022 Although Mark’s music orbits an R&B planet, her influences, from hip-hop to bossa nova and rock, could be identified at various points throughout her set, for which she was accompanied by a four-piece band. Sasha Urban, Variety, 20 Apr. 2022 Despite its fraught reputation in Brazil, bossa nova led generations to explore the country’s music. Charles Aaron, Rolling Stone, 15 Apr. 2022 The bossa nova pattern and strings return, but the general tranquility is interrupted by a trenchant guitar solo about halfway through, only to restore its former quietude a little while later. Grant Sharples, SPIN, 6 Apr. 2022 Smith, her voice soaked in empathy and disappointment, hovers over a melancholy bossa nova shuffle, addressing a young woman on the brink. New York Times, 14 Mar. 2022 Soon after came a jaunty bossa nova highlighted by a smart solo from Sellick. Washington Post, 11 Mar. 2022 Their selections will include music from the Great American Songbook, bossa nova classics, and jazz tunes from such luminaries as Duke Ellington and Miles Davis. Myrna Petlicki, chicagotribune.com, 28 Feb. 2022 To Mendes, the appeal of bossa nova was both obvious and instantaneous. Ed Masley, The Arizona Republic, 29 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of bossa nova

1962, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bossa nova

Portuguese, literally, new trend

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best wireless speakers.

Learn More About bossa nova

Time Traveler for bossa nova

Time Traveler

The first known use of bossa nova was in 1962

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near bossa nova

bossage

bossa nova

bosse

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for bossa nova

Last Updated

14 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bossa nova.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bossa%20nova. Accessed 25 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on bossa nova

Britannica English: Translation of bossa nova for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bossa nova

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!