dis·​co | \ˈdis-(ˌ)kō \
plural discos

Definition of disco 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a nightclub for dancing to live and recorded music

2 : popular dance music characterized by hypnotic rhythm, repetitive lyrics, and electronically produced sounds



Definition of disco (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to dance to disco music

Definition of disco- (Entry 3 of 3)

— see disc-

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Did You Know?

A style of dance music that arose in the mid-1970s, disco (short for discotheque), is characterized by hypnotic rhythm, repetitive lyrics, and electronically produced sounds. Disco evolved largely from New York underground nightclubs, in which disc jockeys would play dance records for hours without interruption, taking care to synchronize the beats so as to make a seamless change between records. Artists such as Donna Summer, Chic, and the Bee Gees, had hits in the genre, which peaked with the release of the film Saturday Night Fever (1977). Disco faded after 1980, but its influence, especially its sequenced electronic beats, still affects much of pop music.

Examples of disco in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

New wavers like Depeche Mode knit the supposedly frivolous and fey sounds of disco into their gloom. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "What Linkin Park Gave to Pop Music," 25 June 2018 The atmosphere: As the name would suggest, New Wave embraces the colorful nature of '80s pop music, with a touch of punk and a hint of disco mixed in for good measure. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "Try one of these top 13 best-reviewed Louisville restaurants of 2018," 15 June 2018 Be prepared for some demons who are fans of disco though. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "CW Announces "The Vampire Diaries" and "The Originals" Spinoff, "Legacies"," 12 May 2018 Byrne became the focus of popular attention in the early 1980s beside Peter Gabriel, Laurie Anderson, Sting and a few other artists/musicians who blended unemotional personas with poetic lyrics to help wrestle the world out of the clutches of disco. Doug Maccash, NOLA.com, "David Byrne burns it down at the Gentilly Stage at Jazz Fest," 29 Apr. 2018 As the evening pulsed on, the crowd was swelled with the arrival of a tribe of models and the action switched to the disco club, where the walls and banquettes were upholstered in bold flower prints and tree peonies fragranced the air. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Hamish Bowles Takes In Louis Vuitton’s Glittering Cruise Collection In Cannes," 30 May 2018 His musical catalog consists of jazz, contemporary R&B and disco-club songs. NBC News, "R&B legend James Mtume talks 'Juicy Fruit' and his career," 18 Feb. 2018 The electro-disco song features Canadian LGBTQ counter-culture darling Peaches and feminist electronic rock band Le Tigre, known for its left-wing views and LGBTQ activism. Muri Assunção, Billboard, "10 Christina Aguilera Songs for Your Pride Month Playlist: Listen," 25 June 2018 Wine flowed and the music got louder, jumping from Bossa Nova to Italo-disco to Greek rebetiko as the sun began to set over Athens. Charly Wilder, New York Times, "Athens, Rising," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Yubin’s debut single draws on ‘80s disco and soft rock, sprinkling the playful melody with funky instrumentals, sweet harmonies, and playful synths. Tamar Herman, Billboard, "Former Wonder Girls Member Yubin Debuts First Solo Song 'Lady': Watch the Video," 5 June 2018 Your soup can and disco looks didn't impress the judges. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "Aja talks reintroducing herself on 'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars' 3," 23 Feb. 2018 Zendaya channeled her inner ‘70s disco Barbie on Monday (August 7) evening, attending Variety’s Power of Young Hollywood Event wearing an ombré pink sparkly pantsuit by designer Vivetta. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Zendaya Wears a Pink Sequined Suit on the Red Carpet," 10 Aug. 2017

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


1963, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1976, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for disco


short for discotheque

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Statistics for disco

Last Updated

4 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for disco

The first known use of disco was in 1963

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More Definitions for disco



English Language Learners Definition of disco

: a nightclub where people dance to recorded popular music

: a type of popular dance music

More from Merriam-Webster on disco

Spanish Central: Translation of disco

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about disco

Comments on disco

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to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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