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


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

The Black Panther star then added a pair of silver disco heels by Stuart Weitzman that had a hefty platform and elegant straps. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Lupita Nyong’o Matched Her Entire Outfit to Her Disco Ball Heels," 11 Jan. 2019 Getty ImagesFrazer Harrison Tonight, actress-slash-queen Nicole Kidman walked the red carpet at the 2019 Golden Globes looking smashing in a full sequin maroon gown and equally festive disco of a ball bag. Sally Holmes, Marie Claire, "Nicole Kidman Channels Kate Middleton at the Golden Globes," 7 Jan. 2019 This past month, she's stepped out in a series of fully-covered looks including a disco-day look by Louis Vuitton and a political DIY T-shirt, among others. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Miley Cyrus Proves Why Peekaboo Tattoos and a Dazzling Party Dress Are the Perfect Match," 14 Dec. 2018 Each element of the look worked, but the shimmering top was clearly the focal point and managed to bring just the right dose of disco glamour into the daytime. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Miley Cyrus Brings Disco Glamour into the Light of Day," 10 Dec. 2018 Club Tamarind offers teen and tween programming, like a disco night, while younger kids are entertained by arts and crafts session or a lesson in Bajan culture. Kaitlin Menza, Town & Country, "The Best Things to Do, Eat, and See in Barbados," 15 Nov. 2018 Over the last 75 years, Swamp Dogg, aka Jerry Williams Jr., has been an eccentric artist who combines his southern soulful voice with elements of R&B, disco and country. Samantha West, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Eaux Claires recap: The best and worst of the indie festival in its 4th year," 8 July 2018 The final installment features Midlife Crisis playing classic rock, pop, disco and funk and Replay, which puts a new twist on the live classic rock sound. Jessi Virtusio, Daily Southtown, "Bands, food trucks join forces to ‘Rock the Woods’ in Will County," 21 June 2018 By wielding a giant sword and chanting a mantra, Adora changes from mumsy space cadet into a disco-interpretation of a goddess: gold go-go boots, matching golden gauntlets, a winged vaguely Nordic tiara, and a crimson cape. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "She-Ra and the Princesses of Power honors and challenges the original She-Ra.," 21 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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


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

14 Jan 2019

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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

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