con·​ga | \ ˈkäŋ-gə How to pronounce conga (audio) \

Definition of conga

1 : a Cuban dance of African origin involving three steps followed by a kick and performed by a group usually in single file
2 : a tall barrel-shaped or tapering drum of Afro-Cuban origin that is played with the hands

Illustration of conga

Illustration of conga

conga 2

Examples of conga in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The artist’s new EP opens with a set of interlocking rhythms connecting a four-on-the-floor bass drum, vibraphone-suggestive mid-range loops, a conga in the background and some crazy high-hat action. Randall Robertsstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "California Sounds: New L.A. music from Cooper Saver, La Santa Cecilia and Allah-Las," 24 July 2019 My eighth notes provided urgency, a racing pulse under the whole thing rather than the original’s sleepy conga. Marc Myers, WSJ, "Todd Rundgren Recalls the Breakup Behind ‘Hello It’s Me’," 22 Nov. 2018 The Last Poets emerged in Harlem at the end of the 1960s, reciting rhythmic verses over conga drumming and speaking directly to the disenfranchised youth of New York City’s black community. Giovanni Russonello, New York Times, "Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, ‘Grandfather of Rap,’ Is Dead at 73," 13 June 2018 Other orchestra members are conga player and percussionist Willie Vazquez, drum and timbales player Rob Castaneda, bassist Art Lopez and keyboardist Jimmy Hernandez. Bob Kostanczuk, Post-Tribune, "Latin Satin Soul performs at free Whiting concert series," 12 July 2018 Russell neighborhood’s Sheppard Park just got a $600,000 makeover complete with a sprayground, new restrooms, benches and toy conga drums. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "OMG. It's hot outside. So here are 5 new places to beat the heat.," 3 July 2018 The queen of conga has joined brothers Ozzie and Will Areu as a partner and executive team member of their Atlanta studio called Areu Bros, according to Variety. Johnny Diaz,, "Gloria Estefan joins Areu brothers in production studio in Atlanta," 29 June 2018 The conga drumming is both intense and introspective. Tiffany Martinbrough, New York Times, "Going With the Flow (and the Drumbeat, Too)," 29 Mar. 2018 And the periodic appearance of a very young conga practitioner (Jordan Vergara on opening night) provides a fun jolt. Tim Smith,, "At the Hippodrome, a propulsive journey through the career of Gloria Estefan in 'On Your Feet'," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conga.' 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 conga

1934, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for conga

American Spanish, probably from feminine of congo black person, from Congo, region in Africa

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Time Traveler for conga

Time Traveler

The first known use of conga was in 1934

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Cite this Entry

“Conga.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce conga (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of conga

: a dance in which people follow each other in a long, curving line
: a tall drum that is shaped like a barrel and played with the hands

More from Merriam-Webster on conga

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with conga Encyclopedia article about conga

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