dis·​co | \ ˈdi-(ˌ)skō How to pronounce disco (audio) \
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


discoed; discoing; discos

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 Just days after being granted clemency by President Donald Trump and released after serving four years of his 20-year sentence, Esformes was under a disco ball celebrating his daughter’s wedding. Eric Lipton, BostonGlobe.com, "For prosecutors, Trump’s clemency decisions were a ‘kick in the teeth’," 21 Jan. 2021 Reelz celebrates the three tracks that showcase the rise of pop, disco and soul sensation Diana Ross through interviews with her producers, songwriters and others who worked with her. Washington Post, "22nd Annual A Home for the Holidays," 19 Dec. 2020 Check out this roundup by the U-T’s Kragen. Music, Part II From a Pulitzer Prize-winning new opera and a Grammy Award nomination to the Library of Congress’ induction of a 42-year-old disco anthem, 2020 was a banner year for San Diego musicians. David L. Coddon, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Arts & Culture Newsletter: A hearty dose of ‘Jagged Little Pill’," 10 Dec. 2020 The album combines elements of modern blues, psychedelic rock, disco and Southern rock. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "Let's hear it for the boys! Three sons of Kentucky nominated for 2021 Grammy Awards," 26 Nov. 2020 The most difficult part of making the disco-pop hit was stepping out of the comforts of singing in Korean and getting the English pronunciations down, the group told USA TODAY via an interpreter. Gary Dinges, USA TODAY, "From best-selling albums to YouTube records: A look at K-pop group BTS' milestones so far," 19 Nov. 2020 Despite closed clubs and festivals, disco-pop chanteuses kept people dancing. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 10 Best Dance Albums of 2020: Staff Picks," 17 Dec. 2020 We may have been confined to our homes and apartments, but Dua Lipa supplied an 11-track album of pure escapism—of disco-pop so shiny and slick, our kitchens became dance floors and our bedrooms Studio 54. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "The 30 Best Albums of 2020 That Made Us Cry, Dance, and Fall in Love," 15 Dec. 2020 Filmed in a sunny Berlin plaza, Janta jammed to a disco beat, showing off fluid skate-dance moves executed with enviable ease. Leigh-ann Jackson, Los Angeles Times, "Wheel good fun: How old-school roller skates became the perfect pandemic pastime," 11 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Set to disco music, the improvisational dance form created by Black and Latino communities incorporates jazz, martial arts, rapid arm movements and poses. Los Angeles Times, "Remembering Tyrone Proctor, a pioneer of the 1970s L.A. dance style waacking," 12 June 2020 In the quarterly earnings dance, Apple waltzed, Advanced Micro Devices stumbled, and Spotify discoed on. Fortune, "How Sanctions Are Starting To Squeeze Huawei—Data Sheet," 31 July 2019 After the screening, I was asked to write a ballad score and disco vocal for a dance scene. Marc Myers, WSJ, "The Nonsense Lyrics That Donna Summer Turned Into a Classic," 22 Aug. 2018 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


1957, 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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Learn More about disco

Statistics for disco

Last Updated

1 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Disco.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disco. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disco

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about disco

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